Will GST impact your salary? Everything you need to know

New Delhi: Companies may restructure the reimbursement component of employees’ salary to make sure that the said part does not attract Goods and Services Tax (GST), a financial daily has reported.

The Economic Times has said that these reimbursements components may include those on “home rentals, telephone charges beyond a certain limit, medical premiums for extra coverage, health check-ups, transportation” among other benefits that could come under the GST ambit.

ET quoting tax experts said that the move may be necessitated in the wake of the recent Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) ruling that the GST will be levied on recovery of food expenses from employees for canteen services.

The Kerala bench of the AAR in its order last week said that recovery of food expenses from the employees for canteen services provided by a company are taxable as a supply of service under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The ruling was given by the AAR on an application filed by Malappuram-based Caltech Polymers. The company approached the AAR to seek advance ruling on whether recovery of food expenses from employees for canteen services would come under definition of outward supplies and attract the GST.

“… recovery of food expenses from the employees for the canteen services provided by company would come under the definition of ‘outward supply’ as defined in Section 2(83) of the Act, 2017, and therefore, taxable as a supply of service under GST,” said the AAR order.

Under the Factories Act, 1948, any factory employing more than 250 workers is required to provide canteen facility to its employees.

Levying of GST on canteen services provided by employers to employees would increase the compliance burden of companies, PwC Partner and Leader Indirect Tax Pratik Jain told PTI.

The government, Jain said, should either provide some guidance on such aspects or consider providing an exemption from GST on such recoveries.

He further said that it was not clear whether GST would be levied at 5 per cent (without input credit) as canteen shall apply on all such recoveries from employees or a residual rate of 18 per cent will be applicable, treating it as outdoor catering services.

In the first week of this month, the finance ministry had clarified that a 5 percent GST will be levied on food and drinks supplied by the Indian Railways or IRCTC in trains, platforms or stations.

This was done to bring uniformity in the rate of GST applicable to supply of food and drinks made available in trains, platforms or stations.

Source by:-india

GST to impact your salary? Here’s what affects

To minimize the impact of the Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST), companies may change the salary restructure plan, claimed an Economic Times report. The report stated that India Inc might restructure compensation packages or human resource benefits of their employees to ensure they don’t face taxing times under the GST.

The report further said that employees that are receiving reimbursements on home rentals, telephone charges beyond a certain limit, medical premiums for extra coverage, health check-ups, transportation among other benefits could face the GST heat.

The report quoted the tax experts saying that the companies are already taking the analysts advices’ seriously to examine the reimbursements and benefits closely. The latest development came after the Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) in Kerala has ruled that the GST will be levied on recovery of food expenses from employees for canteen services provided by the employer.

However, the decision was case specific but many believe that it could be a hint what future holds for firms in coming days.

Meanwhile, nine months after the GST was launched in the country, most businesses are still struggling to understand the new indirect tax regime, a survey conducted by the online wholesale marketplace Wydr has revealed.

According to the survey, 57% of the respondents representing manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers said they are yet to fully understand the working of GST, while nearly 19% (one in five) said they still do not understand GST at all. A total of 130 businesses across India were surveyed on how the GST regime has impacted their business.

“The scale of implementation for the GST is unprecedented anywhere in the world, which naturally leads to some challenges and teething troubles in the first few months. The survey’s results demonstrate that even though significant progress has been made in GST rollout, the administration needs to enhance its focus on educating small and medium business owners across India,” said Devesh Rai, founder and CEO, Wydr.

Wydr is a B2B app-based marketplace for retailers and wholesalers to buy directly from distributors and manufacturers.

As per Wydr’s survey, over 53% of the respondents admitted to having experienced a decline in their sales and revenues post the introduction of GST, while only 25% said the impact on sales was positive.

Source by;-dnaindia

Congress, BJP fight over petroleum prices

petrol image

BENGALURU: Congress and BJP are trading charges, and blame, over the rocketing prices of petrol and diesel, with the former vowing to make it a poll plank in the assembly polls. Ironically, fuel prices have inched downwards in the state capital over the past 3-4 days, giving rise to speculation that the Centre has asked oil marketing companies (OMCs) to stop the daily revision of prices till the Karnataka polls.

Petrol price in Bengaluru touched Rs 75.19 per litre on April 10, the highest ever price since Rs 76.06 in 2013. But it came down the next day to Rs 75.15 and remained the same on Thursday. On Friday, it dipped to Rs 75.12.

Fuel

The crude oil prices (Brent), based on which fuel prices are revised daily, however, has gone up from $68.65 per barrel (day’s closing) on April 9 to $72.02 on April 12. Officials of the OMCs denied reports that the Centre had told them to keep fuel prices unchanged in the run-up to polls.

Meanwhile, Congress has launched an aggressive online campaign blaming the BJP-ruled Centre for the rise in prices. In its counter-attack, BJP has sought to put the blame back on Congress, highlighting the fact that the Siddaramaiah-led government did not heed petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s appeal to reduce local taxes on motor fuels by 5% when the central excise duty was cut by Rs 2 last October.

 CM Siddaramaiah was quick to tweet: “International crude prices have started falling since 2014. From about $110/barrel in 2013 the prices fell to $26/barrel in Feb 2016. But the Modi government has not lowered the petrol/ diesel prices. In fact prices are increasing. Where the money saved is going? #BJPFuelloot.”
 Soon the Congress online campaign picked up. “Since 2013, while Karnataka’s state tax on petrol has been reduced by 17 %, the central tax has increased by 80% from Rs 10.70 per litre to Rs 19.48. What is the rationale behind PM Modi taxing fuel so exorbitantly?” a Twitter post said.

 “The BJP-led government seems to be behind the fuel prices remaining stagnant over the past few days. This is another jumla. There will be a big shock once the polls are over,” said KPCC social media chairman Srivatsa YB.

“When the crude oil price touched as high as $75 in October last year, the Centre reduced the central excise duty and asked the states to follow suit by reducing the local sales tax.

The Congress government in Karnataka did not respond to the call and they have no right to talk about the issue during elections,” said BJP spokesperson A Anand, who is also an office-bearer of Karnataka Petrol Dealers Association. “What puts BJP on the defensive is that the Manmohan Singh government granted subsidy to the oil marketing companies so that the retail prices remained low, while the Modi government stopped it and introduced the daily revision of prices,” said M Prabhakar Reddy, chairman of All-India Petroleum Dealers Association.
Source by:- timesofindia

Aadhaar-Based Paperless Air Travel Soon To Be A Reality In India: Reports

aadhaar image

JAIPUR:  Even as Aadhaar’s credibility is being debated, paperless travel could soon become a reality, according to an aviation expert.

“Our research shows that 70 per cent of passengers in India said they would definitely use biometrics if given the option, removing the need to show a passport or boarding card at key points at airports,” Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President — Indian Subcontinet, Eastern and Southern Africa — for SITA told IANS in an interview in Jaipur. He said this was well above the global average of 57 per cent.

Leveraging India’s national Aadhaar biometric identity system, together with SITA’s Smart Path technology, would be able to provide secure and efficient journey through the airports, he added. SITA is IT and communications service provider for air transport.

Maneesh Jaikrishna had announced at the recent Air Transport IT Summit in Jaipur that paperless travel would be a reality in India soon.

At the Air Transport IT Summit 2018, SITA had announced that MIHAN (Multimodal International Hub Airport, Nagpur) would be deploying SITA’s technology like Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) to allow any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and bag drop. It will also deploy the baggage tracking solution.

SITA will also extend its technology for better baggage handling to 15 other airports under AAI including Trivandrum, Chennai, Kolkata, Goa, Lucknow, Jaipur, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

Source by:- ndtv

PF Account: Need To Correct Your Basic Details? How To Do It Online

Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) subscribers can request a change in their basic details online, through the EPFO’s (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) Unified Portal – unifiedportal-emp.epfindia.gov.in. This was said by retirement fund body EPFO on microblogging site Twitter. Retirement fund body EPFO provides an online facility that enables EPF members to request a correction or update in their basic details online. This online facility works on an Aadhaar verification-based method, wherein the requested changes are compared with the details in the Aadhaar database, maintained by the Aadhaar card-issuing authority, the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).

Provident fund body EPFO had in November 2017 introduced an online facility for EPF subscribers to request changes in their basic details – such as name, gender and date of birth (DoB). EPFO had said in a statement dated November 21, 2017: “Many references are being received that members are facing problem in seeding Aadhaar with UAN due to mismatch in Name, DoB or Gender is UAN data and UIDAI data.”

At that time, an EPF subscriber looking to correct the basic details fed into his or her UAN had to submit a joint request, along with the employer, to the concerned EPFO Field Office. The online facility is aimed at reducing “the paperwork and time delay” in the existing process, according to the EPFO. Under the online process, the request is submitted online by the EPF member. The employer is then required to forward the online request to the concerned EPFO office.

How EPF Members Can Correct Basic Details Online – via UAN and Aadhaar number

Provident fund body EPFO has listed twelve steps explaining the process flow for this online functionality. These are:

1: The member logs in through his or her UAN and password on the Member Interface of the Unified Portal. A link to this portal is given here.

epf online update epf statement
2. The member can then proceed by clicking on ‘Modify Basic Details’ under the Manage section.

epf online update epf statement
3. After this, the user is required to enter the correct details as per his or her Aadhaar. The system uses these details to verify those in the UIDAI-Aadhaar data.

epf online update epf statement
4. Once the user clicks on ‘Update Details’ on the previous screen, a request is submitted to employer for further approval. Before submission by the employer, the employee can withdraw the request by clicking on the ‘Delete Request’ button.

epf online update epf statement
5. After this stage, the employer will log in to Employer Interface of Unified Portal. Here’s a link to this portal, meant for employers.

epf online update epf statement
6. The employer can then view the change requests submitted by the employee by clicking on ‘Details Change Request’ under the ‘Member’ section.

epf online update epf statement
7. The employer can view the online requests received from employees and can thus take appropriate action by giving remarks.

epf online update epf statement
8. After approval of request, the employer can see the latest status of request.

epf online update epf statement
9. After approval of request by the employer, the request will appear as a task in the login of Dealing Hand (concerned person of the EPFO office) in the Field Office Interface of Unified Portal.

epf online update epf statement
10. The Dealing Hand can login and view the online change requests by clicking on ‘Details Change Request’ under the ‘Member’ section.

epf online update epf statement
11: After due verification, the Dealing Hand can submit his or her recommendations to Section Supervisor. “The Dealing Assistant can put the case either for Approval or Rejection by selecting the appropriate radio button i.e. Recommended for Approval or Recommended for Rejection with proper remarks. In the same manner Section Supervisor can submit his/her recommendations to APFC/RPFC,” according to the EPFO.

epf online update epf statement
12. After this, the Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner (APFC) or Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) can approve or reject the case, according to the EPFO.

epf online update epf statement

EPF or Employee Provident Fund is a long-term investment instrument provided by EPFO for salaried individuals. Every year, the employer and the employee deposit 12 per cent of the former’s contribution with the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). That means that every month, 24 per cent of the employee’s basic salary is saved with the EPFO in the EPF account (12 per cent by employee and employer each).

Source by:-ndtv

Banks start charging money for SMS alerts, mobile banking

In another example of cartelization among bankers, several banks have increased or started imposing charges for transaction alerts through SMS as well as for mobile banking. As usual, private lenders have taken the lead, which soon would be followed by nationalized banks

There is no free lunch says a popular adage. Our banks, having lured consumers with ‘free’ services, have now started charging for them or hiking already existing fees to fatten their bottomlines. So far this year, many banks have started charging for SMS alerts on transactions and hiked the annual fees on debit/credit cards. A few banks have even increased charges to deposit cash in your accounts. The list includes large banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Canara Bank. Here are some areas in which charges have been increased.

SMS Alerts: Over the past month, almost all banks have begun to charge for SMS alerts on transactions.

Axis Bank sent an SMS to its account holders which states that “From 15 June 2013 this (SMS banking) service will be charged Rs5 per month”. ICICI Bank is charging Rs15 per quarter. Interestingly, both amount to an identical Rs60 per annum giving rise to the suspicion that banks, working through the Indian Banks Association, decide to hike rates in tandem or to a pre-decided plan.

State Bank of India (SBI) is providing various services like MobiCash, mobile banking and SMS banking free of cost. Other state-run lenders like Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Canara Bank are also providing SMS banking and mobile banking services free of cost.
(Update: As of 1 July 2013, both SBI and PNB decided charging Rs15 per quarter for SMS alert services. PNB, however, said, accounts of senior citizens, its staff-in service and retired and students, will be exempted from this charge)

When asked, an Axis Bank executive said whoever is subscribed to their SMS banking services will be charged Rs5 per month. He said, whoever chooses to unsubscribe from (to unsubscribe customers have to visit branch personally) their SMS Banking services will not be charged anything. Clearly, the banks are testing the ground. Nobody is likely to unsubscribe at a time when SMS alerts have helped protect part of the money.

ICICI Bank notifies on its website “Please note with effect from 1 May 2013 all savings account customers availing alerts facility through an SMS will be charged Rs15 per quarter (inclusive of taxes)”. However, ICICI Bank has kept the facility free for accounts such as salary account, senior citizen savings account, silver savings account and privilege banking.

HDFC Bank notifies on its website, “Effective 1stApril, customers registered for InstaAlert service with ‘SMS’ as the alert delivery channel, would be charged.”

HDFC Bank customers registered for InstaAlert service through ‘SMS’ are charged Rs15 per quarter for salary or savings accounts, while customers who hold current account are charged Rs25 per quarter.

However, HDFC Bank said, InstaAlerts delivered through emails would remain free. Interestingly debit or credit card transaction alerts sent as per regulatory guidelines and net-banking transaction alerts are not covered in the HDFC Bank InstaAlertservice. Customers who are not registered for InstaAlert service will continue to get these alerts free of charge, according to HDFC Bank.

While all private sector lenders have increased charges for SMS alerts, Kotak Mahindra Bank has decided to reduce its already very high charges. This reduction would bring the rates at par with other banks. It notifies on its website “for savings account holders: The daily balance SMS alert that costs Rs200 per annum will be reduced to Rs120 per annum while SMS for weekly balance, transactions and value added alerts will cost Rs60 per annum from Rs75 per annum with effect from 1st July.”

Yes Bank, which offers up to 7% interest on saving accounts, is charging Rs10 per month to their basic saving account (smart salary) holders. While other account holders would continue to get transaction alert messages free of cost.

Kotak and Yes Bank, pays a higher interest on savings account balances above Rs1 lakh. But it seems both were clearly charging significantly more for other services. Even today, at Rs120 per annum, the charges are double than that of ICICI, HDFC Bank or Axis Bank.

Debit Cards:

Banks from the private sector also started hiking annual fees for debit or ATM cards. Among the state-run lenders, except Canara Bank, no other bank has increased the fees. From 1st July Canara Bank would charge Rs112 as annual fee for its debit cards issues to all customers, except holders of small savings account, basic savings account and financial savings account.

SBI is charging Rs102 annual fees on all debit cards, except Yuva International debit card. PNB is charging Rs112 and BoB is levying Rs113 as annual fees or maintenance charges on debit-cum-ATM cards.

Axis Bank has increased the annual charges by 50%. It would charge Rs150 instead of Rs100 as annual fee from its debit card users in metro and urban centers. For bank account holders from semi-urban and rural, the same is revised to Rs100 from Rs50. In addition, all prime salary account would be charges Rs150 as annual fee for a debit card. Axis Bank has also increased card issuance fee for all its customers to Rs150 from 1st May.

While ICICI Bank is charging Rs99 for gold or silver debit cards and Rs250 for business banking debit card, HDFC Bank charges between Rs100 to Rs500. Kotak Mahindra Bank is charging between Rs100 to Rs750 for platinum debit card, as annual fees.

Yes Bank has already increased the charges from November last year. The Yes Business Gold Debit Card has become costlier by Rs150 following the increase. The annual fees for the card are now Rs499. There is no annual fee on the debit card for the bank’s basic savings account holders.

Annual fees charged on ATM/debit cards

Bank Minimum Annual Fees (in Rs.)

(Basic Debit Cards)

Maximum Annual Fees (in Rs.)

(Platinum /Business cards)

Axis Bank

100

500

ICICI Bank

99

250

HDFC Bank

100

500

Kotak Mahindra Bank

100

750

Yes Bank

149

499

State Bank of India

0

102

Canara Bank

112

112

Bank of Baroda

113

113

Punjab National Bank

112

112

The increase in banking charges is contradictory to the stand taken by the regulators. Earlier this month, while speaking at an Open House organized by Moneylife Foundation, Dr KC Chakrabarty, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that the decision on various charges levied by banks has been left to their respective board of directors while the Indian Banks Association oversees the reasonableness aspect and can suggest a cap on the charges.

Mohan Siroya, chairperson of the Consumer Complaints Cell (CCC) had said, “The ‘greatest wrong’ the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has committed is by disowning its responsibility to supervise the ‘exploitation’ of bank customers. RBI has given the full liberty to each bank to levy ‘service charges’ as per their wish. It has become an open market. Now it has come to the light from the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BSCBI) that the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has been given an authority to put a ‘cap’ on such charges, thus fully abdicating its own duty as a statutory regulator. How is such a body expected to control the greed of making more and more money by its own members?”

Adding to Mr Siroya’s view, Sucheta Dalal, trustee of Moneylife Foundation said, “The IBA operates in a particular pattern. When one bank decides to charge Rs500 for a debit card, the others, especially nationalised banks, follow its lead and say; okay we will charge only Rs250. This is how banking charges increase every time. Competition does not work because IBA has become a cartel. When was the last time that IBA spoke to any consumer organization or sought the consumers’ views?”

Ashok Ravat of All India Bank Depositors Association (AIBDA) and Vasundhara Deodhar from Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) also raised questions on the reasonableness of banking charges. Both requested the banking regulator to determine reasonable service charges.

Interestingly, while consumers are increasingly complaining about reasonableness of bank charges, the banks themselves are lobbying hard with the RBI, claiming that high cost of technology is making each transaction very expensive. For instance, having encouraged and pushed to obtain corporate accounts of companies, banks are now cribbing about high  transaction costs on small withdrawals from ATMs.

For instance, a senior central banker says that each balance inquiry costs the bank Rs11 while each transaction costs around Rs18. However, this calls for a serious discussion on the cost-benefit of technology to consumers, since the solution cannot be to load higher costs on to consumers.

The frequent hikes in service charges are fast reaching a stage where consumers will revolt. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which follows a policy of forbearance (allowing bankers to decide charges themselves) with regard to service charges, refuses to intervene. At the same time, the RBI is pushing banks to extend services to hundreds of million unbanked Indians. There is a clear disconnect here, since no-frills accounts permit only ATM transactions and banks now claim that those too involve a huge cost.

Can the RBI afford to remain silent about rising service charges? It is a question that the banking regulator needs to answer.

 

Source by:-moneylife

UIDAI introduces digitally-signed QR code with photo for eAadhaar

UIDAI is gearing up to introduce secure digitally-signed QR Code on e-Aadhaar that will now contain photograph of the Aadhaar holder. Along with it demographic details, to facilitate better offline verification of an individual.
UIDAI sources told
” The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has recently replaced existing QR code on e-Aadhaar having resident’s demographic details now with a secured digitally-signed QR Code which contains demographics along with photograph of the Aadhaar holder”
Explaining about it QR code is a form of barcode label which contains machine-readable information, while e-Aadhaar is the electronic version of Aadhaar that can be downloaded from UIDAI website.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said ” This is a simple offline mechanism to quickly verify the genuineness of the Aadhaar card.”
UIDAI’s e-Aadhaar QR Code reader software has been made available on the nodal body’s website from 27 March 2018.
Further sources of UIDAI said ” In simple words, it is a very useful and secure facility on eAadhaar where anyone, whether an Aadhaar holder or a user or service agencies like banks can do offline verification of the data in e-Aadhaar along with the photograph”
eAadhaar will be coming upn with a a small QR code on front side of cutaway portion, with demographic data only. While on the top portion of front side and the back (containing demographic data and the photo).Finally it is said to have UIDAI digital signature.
Source by:-techiyogiz

IRCTC ticket booking via SBI card: Indian Railways offers reward points; see how

indian railways image

IRCTC ticket booking via SBI card: To incentivise its passengers and make them opt for the online ticket booking system, Indian Railways arm Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a debit card. The SBI card, also known as  Railway Debit Card, will allow people to go for cashless transactions at least while booking the railway tickets. The card is bundled with numerous benefits like transaction charge waiver, reward points and more. Scroll down to know the benefits that come your way while booking your railway ticket. The Privileges on IRCTC SBI Platinum Card are listed below:

Railway Ticket Booking: Use your IRCTC SBI Platinum Card to book railway tickets online and get them delivered at your doorstep

Transaction Charges Waiver: The card can be used for any transaction but any transaction related to tickets will be free of any charges. You save 1.8% transaction charges, exclusive of GST and all other charges, when you book railway tickets on irctc.co.in, using your IRCTC SBI Platinum Card

Redeem Rewards Points: For booking train tickets at irctc.co.in (1 Reward Point = Rs 1).
Activation bonus: 350 activation bonus reward points on spending Rs 500.

Freedom from Surcharges: The cardholder enjoys the benefit of not paying the 1% fuel surcharge on petrol pumps.

Offers: The card provides offers on travel, dining, gold and entertainment options from Visa. Note: The offer is being made on behalf of Visa.

Cash on the Go: It allows its holders to withdraw cash from over 1 million Visa ATMs across the world.

Global Acceptance: Your IRCTC SBI Platinum Card is a travel card and can be used in over 29 million Visa outlets worldwide & 3,25,000 outlets in India.

Empower your Family: Apply for add-on cards for your children, siblings above the age of 18, spouse and parents.

Easy Bill Pay Facility: Use our Easy Bill Pay facility to ensure your electricity, insurance, telephone and other utility bills are paid on time

Balance Transfer on EMI: A cardholder will be allowed to transfer the outstanding balance of his/her outstanding balance of other bank’s credit card to your IRCTC SBI Platinum Card. Transferring the balance can allow him/her to lower the rate of interest and payback in EMIs.

Flexipay: The facility allows the cardholder to convert his/her transactions in easy monthly instalments. Just transact for Rs. 2,500 or more and log on to sbicard.com within 30 days of purchase to convert it into Flexipay.

Watch this Zee Business video

Earlier, IRCTC used to charge Rs 20 on each sleeper class and Rs 40 on each air-conditioned class e-tickets, a part of which went to banks as transaction charges.

Source by:- zeebiz

Get faster ‘Out-of-Turn’ Passports without extra fee

passport image

The NDA government has continued to make the process of getting passports easier. One change it has introduced is police verification after issuance of passport.

These ‘Out-of-Turn’ passports would be issued under the normal scheme as well as the ‘Tatkaal’ program.

The External Affairs Ministry (MEA) introduced this after receiving several complaints about delays in police verification, and of cops demanding bribes.

How does the process work?

Explaining the process, Passport Officer Bharat Kumar said that this scheme will be valid for first-time applicants too.

Appointment would have to be sought normally or through Tatkaal. In the former case, there would be no extra cost.

They will have to mention on the form that they are opting for the Out-of-Turn scheme.

Apart from required documents, no proof of urgency is required.

What documents are needed for ‘Out-of-Turn’ passports?

For this, applicants aged over 18 will mandatorily have to submit Aadhaar and a self-declaration prescribed in Passport Rules, 1980.

Apart from that, they can submit any two documents out of Voter ID, PAN, bank passbook, caste certificate, driving license, ration card etc.

Those under 18 can submit any one of student ID, birth certificate or ration card, apart from Aadhaar and the self-declaration.

You can speed it up further under the ‘Tatkaal’ scheme

The ‘Out-of-Turn’ service is available under the Tatkaal scheme too, under which the applicant will be prioritized in appointments and printing of passports. An additional fee will be levied. If everything is found satisfactory, passports will be issued within three days from date of application.

How will the scheme help applicants?

This will be handy particularly for applicants in rural regions, where police verification often takes more than a month.

This will also help those looking to leave the country for urgent work, including admission, jobs or medical procedures.

With this, the MEA hopes to check situations where even Tatkaal applicants have had to wait for more than 10 days for appointments.

Source by:- newsbytesapp

Aadhaar gets Virtual ID for security: All you need to know & how it works

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday launched the virtual ID (VID) facility for Aadhaar, which provides a more secure way of protecting the 12-digit biometric number by masking it and generating a 16-digit randomly generated VID instead.
The UIDAI tweeted that residents could generate their VIDs right away, but service providers were expected to start accepting them “soon”. The authority added the new VIDs could be used for updating registered addresses on the Aadhaar e-portal.

The VID system was announced in January amid rising security concerns over the security of Aadhaar data, which is shared with service providers such as banks, insurance companies and telecom operators. While announcing the launch of VID, the UIDAI had claimed the new system would provide the required anonymity with a randomly generated number that could be deactivated and regenerated according to one’s need.

The new system was supposed to be launched on March 1 but the UIDAI had remained silent for the last four weeks about the launch.

Though the VID system was launched on Monday, service providers have until June 1 to start accepting VIDs, failing which their authentication facilities can be revoked.

“While it is important to ensure that Aadhaar number-holders can use their identity information to avail many products and services, the collection and storage of Aadhaar numbers by various entities has heightened privacy concerns,” the circular issued by the UIDAI in January said.

“The Aadhaar number being a permanent ID for life, there is a need to provide a mechanism to ensure its continued use by the holder, while optimally protecting the collection and storage of the Aadhaar number itself in many databases,” the circular added.

It was expected that the UIDAI would allow multiple virtual IDs to be generated with each UID. In its current form, however, only one VID can be generated for an Aadhaar number at a time.

The VID launch also comes in the midst of an ongoing Supreme Court case on the constitutional validity of the UID project. Last week, UIDAI Chief Executive Officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey made a presentation to a five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and said the VID would solve security problems related to Aadhaar.

However, the Bench questioned the ease of use of VID and asked how people in the rural parts of the country would generate the number off the internet each time they needed to link their Aadhaar number to a service. The Bench had also asked Pandey to submit a note to the court on how the VID would function.

Subhashis Banerjee, professor of computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and a member of the UIDAI’s security review committee, said the limitation of being able to generate only one VID per day did not “make much sense”.

“I do not understand the reason behind this restriction. So, if you have to give it to one telecom operator and one wallet company, then you have to wait for a day to generate a new VID,” he said.

“If VID has to work, it has to be implemented well and service providers will take time to come on board. Right now, clear directions on implementation and specifications are also missing,” he added.

Source by:-business-standard

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