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Modi government has created ‘mess’: Shashi Tharoor on new IT portal

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NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday attacked the Narendra Modi government (Centre) over the glitches in the new Income Tax portal, alleging that even after spending Rs 4,200 crore on it, the government had “failed” to make it user-friendly and created a “mess” instead.

Tharoor, who is the president of the Congress’ unit comprising professionals, All India Professionals’ Congress, said chartered accountants in the unit have informed him that the change of Income Tax Portal has been disastrous, with glitches including longer than usual logging time.

Almost all features of the new portal are non-operational, so ITR (income tax return) filing, 15 CA/CB forms, data preparation for appeals has ground to a halt, the former Union minister said.

“Not clear why the government chose to change the income tax portal in June. Would have been wiser just before the end of the Financial Year or the start of the next one, so that taxpayers eligible for income-tax refund could have received help in these difficult times,” Tharoor opined.

Hitting out at the government, he asked what was the need for a new income tax portal when the old portal was running smoothly for years and why was the portal switched at peak time, when income tax payers usually file their returns and claim refunds.

Why was no testing of the new portal done before its launch, Tharoor asked.

“The rationale for a new portal is to provide a more user-friendly, modern and seamless experience to users. However, even after spending Rs. 4,200 cr on its renovation, the Govt has failed to attain the objective & created a mess instead,” he said in a series of tweets.

This is a replay of the chaos with the GST portal, Tharoor added.

Noting that India has very few taxpayers per capita and a “culture of tax evasion and black money”, the Congress leader said this must be the first time in history that Indian taxpayers who want to pay their taxes are not able to pay because the income tax portal is not working.

“Penalties should be imposed and heads roll,” Tharoor said.

His remarks come a day after the Income Tax Department extended the deadline till July 15 for manual filing of forms related to foreign remittances.

As the new I-T portal faced technical issues after its launch on June 7 and users complained of glitches, the department had allowed manual filings of Form 15CA/15CB (required for foreign remittances) with banks till June 30.

The new portal was launched on June 7, which the tax department as well as the government said was aimed at making compliance more taxpayer-friendly.

As the website continued to face glitches from the first day of its launch, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked Infosys — the vendor who developed the site — to fix the issues on priority.

In a meeting with Infosys top officials on June 15, Sitharaman had asked Infosys to address all issues without further loss of time, improve their services, and redress grievances on priority as it was impacting taxpayers adversely.

Infosys officials on their part had said that they were working to fix the technical issues and that they have augmented the resources for execution of the project on the hardware as well as the application side and that some of the issues have already been identified and fixed.

For the other remaining technical issues, Infosys had assured the government that their teams were working on them and gave the expected timelines within which the issues would be resolved.

Infosys was in 2019 awarded a contract to develop the next-generation income tax filing system to reduce processing time for returns from 63 days to one day and expedite refunds.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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LTI, IBM inaugurate innovation and experience center in Bengaluru

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NEW DELHI: Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has opened an Innovation & Experience Centre at LTI Whitefield campus in Bengaluru (India) focusing on IBM technologies. The Center will assist enterprises in modernizing their operations and accelerating digital transformation journeys.

This Innovation and Experience Center will showcase LTI solutions that have been co-created using IBM technologies such as IBM Cloud and Cloud Paks. The Centre will also serve as a forum for customers to engage with LTI and IBM technical resources for in-depth technology briefings, solution demos, software, tool access and solution workshops.

Sudhir Chaturvedi, President-Sales and Executive Board Member, LTI, said: “The rapid technological advances make it necessary for customers to experience solutions before adopting them. Our new center in Bengaluru fulfils this need for the joint customers of IBM and LTI. This center will offer combined benefits of LTI’s rich domain proficiency and IBM’s deep technical expertise, and thereby assist clients in their transformation journey.”

Through this center, IBM and LTI will collaborate and invest in creating joint solutions and develop industry viewpoints around digital transformation, hybrid cloud, data & AI, and security services. In addition, both LTI and IBM teams, will work with customers to address their requirements around driving digital transformation and managing multiple clouds.

Evaristus Mainsah, GM, Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem, IBM, said, “This center is an outcome of our growing alliance with LTI to help clients predict, automate, secure, and modernize their business operations. We are confident our clients will benefit from the ease of access to industry-specific assets and customized joint solutions with IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach that will help to accelerate their transformation journeys.”

Distinct features of the center include an IBM Playground for associates to explore and experiment with prototypes, History Zone that highlights LTI-IBM alliance journey, joint customer success stories, Innovation Zone for brainstorming on innovative ideas and planning future offerings, and Discussion Zone with feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement.

LTI has strong capabilities in IBM’s Digital Business Automation portfolio. LTI’s Automation consultants are helping clients in driving productivity improvements with industry specific pre-built IBM frameworks. Earlier this year, LTI and IBM had announced expansion of their global alliance.

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Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature adds a new feature; helps procure an electronic stamp online

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NEW DELHI: Cygnature by Cygnet Infotech, the global Technology Products & Services company, has added an important feature called ‘e-stamp’ to its e-signing solution. Cygnature is an award-winning signing solution that securely authenticates signers, offers them a range of signature types for signing and protects the integrity of the documents.

With the e-stamp feature, businesses will be able to procure e-stamps through Cygnature platform and significantly ease the process of stamping documents.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst in pushing industries to move towards a paperless economy by offering a faster way of executing documents. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature supports organizations when it comes to digitally transforming their businesses. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature has added a useful feature ‘E-Stamp’ in its latest release providing multiple benefits. E-stamp can be generated within minutes using this feature. It can help you save time as physical stamp paper procurement is a time-consuming process. Users can prepay the stamp duty amount and then issue stamp papers against that balance.

With Cygnature, the solution can help digitize the process of paying the stamp duty and procuring e-stamp challan online rather than going to a stamp paper vendor to procure traditional stamp paper:

1. Initiate a workflow by uploading an agreement on Cygnature

2. Add E-stamp, select state and stamp duty amount to be paid for the relevant document category

3. Provide details of first and second party

4. On confirmation of details, the e-stamp challan will be generated and gets added instantly to the uploaded agreement

5. Both the parties can then continue to sign the document using Cygnature by adding placeholders to e-sign the document

6. The stamp duty amount will be deducted from the prepaid amount you deposit in your Cygnature account

7. The physical copies of the stamp paper will be couriered at the end of the month to the consumer’s address

Cygnature will not provide advice on the amount of stamp duty to be paid. This will have to be decided by the user.

Niraj Hutheesing, Founder & Managing Director at Cygnet Infotech said, “Cygnet Infotech’s product, Cygnature has been developed with an aim to promote seamless digital signing of documents. With the introduction of Cygnature’s E-stamp feature, we seek to further support businesses in speeding up the process of authorization of documents. Paying stamp duty is mandatory for many transactions across the country, and to simplify the process, e-stamp will help tackle counterfeiting and will further make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free.”

In this latest release, Cygnature’s E-stamp feature will be available for 5 states – Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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