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How is India suffering from chronic poverty? Tackling India’s hunger problem and ways to fight it through technology

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A huge chunk of the Indian population suffers from chronic hunger. On the Global Hunger Index, India is at the 97th position. According to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IRPRI), one-sixth of India’s population is undernourished, while 190 million people go to bed hungry daily. A total of 30% children below the age of 5 years are underweight. India alone accounts for around 30% of neo-natal deaths internationally, all linked to malnutrition. Rs. 50,000 crore worth food wasted yearly behind India’s hunger One may be tempted to conclude that the culprit is insufficient food production. However, this is not true. In India’s case, around 40 percent of fruits and vegetables and about 20 percent of grains get destroyed because of insufficient infrastructure and supply chains that are inefficient. Food never reaches consumers. Around Rs. 50,000 crore worth of food is wasted every year. Such wastage has other ramifications as well. It results not only in hunger b…

World Hepatitis Day: Big Data and Predictive Analytics helping disease management and detection

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Hepatitis is a leading causes of deaths, globally—it accounts for 1.34 million deaths per year. That is equal in number to the deaths caused by AIDStuberculosis, or malaria. Acting together, hepatitis B and hepatitis C cause 80 percent of liver cancer cases in the entire world. The viral variety of hepatitis is not restricted to a location or a set of people. The epidemic is global—it affects millions of people who do not even realize that they are infected—in fact, my father was suffering from hepatitis which was discovered very late. At present, 90 percent of people infected with hepatitis B and around 80 percent with hepatitis C are not even aware of the infection. This often leads to the disease going unnoticed and causing significant harm by resulting in fatal liver diseases. They also, in a substantial number of cases, end up unwittingly transmitting the disease to others. The task is enormous, looking at it this World Hepatitis Day.
Although hepatitis vaccines are available, t…

GST impact: Tax burden increases for manufacturing sector SMEs

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been implemented and brings about huge tax reforms. One of its ramifications is for small Indian enterprises, including startupsand SMEs, who find themselves burdened with more tax. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the manufacturing sector in India face increased tax in the GST regime and may not have it all easy, says Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC). They add that the tax burden for manufacturing SMEs has increased under the GST rollout regime. IACC Chairman, Finance Committee, SK Sarkar says: “Small businesses in manufacturing sector won’t have it easy in GST regime. Under excise laws, only manufacturing business with turnover exceeding Rs 1.50 cr had to pay excise duty.” Under GST, turnover limit has been reduced to Rs. 20 lakh, increasing tax burden for manufacturing-sector SMEs. Many SMEs will find compliance tough and even if they comply with GST norms, it would be at an additional cost, he pointed. No wonder, a sizable chunk …

Are Indian companies and enterprises ready for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)? No, says a survey

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) brings about radical reforms in indirect taxation in India. The reforms particularly affect enterprises. They need to know a number of things for a business: taxes, tariffs and rate slabs, procedures for calculation and compliance. Apart from the input tax credit provision, there are several other factors in the GST, which would need time to be incorporated in business solutions. Those factors include destination system, twin rates, exclusion, etc. New multiple GST-compliant modules for the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Similarly, the ERP needs to be synchronized with supply chain models to support inventory supply management, an integral part of warehousing and manufacturing companies. Are Indian businesses ready for the GST transition? The overwhelming answer is that they would need time to make the transition. 66% CIOs say they are not GST-ready and will need time to ensure compliance, according to a survey by DynamicCIO. “T…

India’s GST implementation: Golden opportunity for fintech software companies to capitalize

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST), India's biggest indirect tax reform, is here, bringing in radical tax reforms that affect everyone, particularly Indian businesses no matter what their size is. Big corporates will be as affected as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups—the backbone of the Indian economy. India has 36 million SMEs and, globally, the country has 3,100 startups—one of the highest. All businesses will be affected. So, the change is drastic and the canvas huge. The GST Network (GSTN) would throw up around 5 billion invoices a month. Add to that the 50 million enterprises in India, along with 15 million retailers that have to go for digitization of sales. No wonder, fintech companies are going all out to woo customers and clients. Companies including SAPMicrosoftZohoTallyDeskera and ClearTax have jumped on to the GST bandwagon and are luring enterprises and startups with GST-compliant platforms and software. They claim this will help businesses stre…