Miscellany

Miscellany

Govt notifies 18 sections, 2 rules for GST

Days ahead of the rollout of Goods and Service Tax), the government today notified sections in the GST Act dealing with mandatory registration of current indirect tax payers
in the new regime.
As many as 18 sections relating to registration of current central excise, service tax and VAT payers with the GST-Network (GSTN) as well as transitional provisions were notified today.
As a precursor to GST, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has also notified two rules -- registration and composition levy.
All the notifications would be effective from June 22.

India asks Qatar to invest in power plants as condition for LNG deals

India on Tuesday said it would sign future long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase deals with Qatar if only Doha agrees to acquire stakes in the South Asian nation's power plants, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

India is the latest major LNG buyer to seek concessions from Qatar, the world's biggest LNG exporter, in order to re-sign long-term supply contracts. Amid a global glut of LNG and a slump in prices, other buyers have sought more flexible contracts, including clauses that would allow them to resell gas they do not consume.

Silicon Valley giants outrank many nations

The top firms in California’s Silicon Valley carry more weight on the global stage than many countries, which makes building diplomatic relations with them increasingly important, the world’s first national technology ambassador said.
Chosen to fill what his country's foreign ministry has dubbed the first “techplomacy” posting on the US. West Coast, Denmark’s Casper Klynge will be tasked with building direct ties between his country and the likes of Facebook, Apple and Alphabet's Google.

Is a $2.7 million lunch with Warren Buffett a bargain?

Every year, some very rich person pays multiple millions at auction to buy a private lunch with Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Warren Buffett. This year, the anonymous winning bidder paid $2.68 million. Crazy, right? Those who missed out on the chance to dine with the Oracle of Omaha likely comforted themselves with the thought that such a lunch is just wretched excess—it couldn’t actually be worth $2.7 million. Or could it?

The key to preferential access

A forensic report of NSE’s co-location facility (COLO) by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu shows preferential access by brokers, like OPG Securities, to the exchange trading system ahead of other members. The report suggests that this was done with the active involvement of NSE brass.
For the express purpose of transparency and to highlight malfeasance in the functioning of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), we have decided to put out excerpts from the report by Deloitte in the public interest.
Background

Artificial intel eating up jobs in e-commerce

Hiring in the e-commerce sector had shrunk last year due to funding and growth issues. Even if the growth returns to the peak levels, the sector does not expect hiring to get back to earlier levels as artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms are increasing efficiencies in different e-commerce operations, thus reducing the need for manpower.

Google hires Indian origin Apple staffer to build processors

Internet search giant Google has hired Indian-origin engineer Manu Gulati, who was Apple's chip architect for iPads and iPhones, to play a key role in building its upcoming flagship pixel phone, according to media reports.
Gulati, who had worked at Apple for almost eight years as a micro-architect, announced the job change through LinkedIn. He is now the lead SoC architect for Google.
He has at least 15 Apple patents related to chip design under his belt and will be key in Google’s plan to build its own processors, a CNBC reported.

Centre to bring down stake in MSTC to 64%

The Centre will bring down its stake in mini-ratna company MSTC to 64 per cent, from 89.85 per cent, in the current round of divestment plan. The government will dilute nearly 0.88 crore shares from its holding of 3.13 crore shares post a 1:1 bonus issue. The revised paid-up capital of MSTC stands at Rs 35.2 crore.
“The government has decided to divest shares equal of 25 per cent of the total capital of the company (MSTC) through offer of sale,” said MSTC director, finance, AK Basu in Kolkata on Thursday.

Three Wines That Should Always Be In Your Fridge

Julia Child always kept a half bottle of Champagne in the refrigerator so she had something to sip on (and keep herself enthused) while cooking. Me too—but I’ve expanded her advice. I always have three bottles of wine on my fridge door shelves. So should you.

London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead

The death toll in a fire that ripped through a 24-storey block of flats in London rose to 17 on Thursday, with many people still missing and firefighters facing hazardous conditions as they searched the charred wreck.

Smoke was still wafting out of the shell of the Grenfell Tower on Thursday, and a Reuters cameraman saw a big piece of building cladding fall from the building.

Fire engulfed the social housing block in the early hours of Wednesday, turning it into a flaming torch in minutes.

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