Flying Abroad? No Departure Cards Required From July 1

New Delhi: Indians flying abroad will not be required to fill departure cards from next month. However, those going out of the country via rail, seaport and land immigration checkposts will have to fill the embarkation card. “It has been decided to discontinue the practice of filling up of the departure card by Indians at all international airports with effect from July 1, 2017,” an order issued by the Union home ministry said. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement of Indians going abroad.

At present, those going abroad need to fill in details such as name, date of birth, passport number, address in India, flight number and date of boarding in the departure card.

“The same information (about the passengers) is available in the system from other sources,” the home ministry order said, citing reasons behind its move.

The need for Indians to fill such cards on their arrival in India has already been done away with.

The decision will help reducing the time required to complete immigration related formalities by passengers and also enable airports and authorities concerned to cater to a larger number of people.

The need for Indians to fill such cards on their arrival in India has already been done away with.

Authorities here have been taking a number of steps to help both international and domestic passengers.

The customs department had last year done away with the need for Indian passengers to fill up a declaration form while coming to India if they were not carrying dutiable goods.

Those carrying prohibited and dutiable goods are required to fill up an ‘Indian Customs Declaration Form’, earlier mandatory for all passengers entering the country.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), mandated to secure civil airports in the country, has also started doing away with the practice of tagging and stamping domestic passengers’ hand baggage.

It has ended at Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, some of the country’s busiest airports.

 

Diageo Buys George Clooney’s Tequila Casamigos For $1 Billion

London: Diageo, the British maker of alcoholic drinks, said Wednesday it had agreed to buy Casamigos, an upscale tequila brand co-founded by Hollywood star George Clooney, in a deal worth up to $1 billion.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Diageo to strengthen its participation in the fast growing tequila category, as well as expand the brand internationally,” the company said in a statement.

It called Casamigos the fastest-growing super-premium tequila brand in the United States.

Casamigos has won numerous awards since it was created in 2013 by Clooney and two friends, and sales have climbed fast.

Diageo Buys George Clooney's Tequila Casamigos For $1 Billion

The tequila has promoted itself as “made by friends for friends”, and the founders plan to stay involved.

“Casamigos has always been brought to you by those who drink it and we look forward to continuing that, working alongside the expertise and global reach of Diageo,” said Casamigos Tequila Co-founder Rande Gerber.

Diageo said the deal includes an initial consideration of $700 million and up to another $300 million depending on performance over 10 years.

 

Don’t report frauds below Rs 1 lakh to police: CVC to banks

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked public sector banks not to report frauds below Rs one lakh to local police, unless their staff is involved in such crimes.

Earlier banks were mandated to report fraud of above Rs 10,000 and below Rs one lakh to police.

The decision was taken by the CVC in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), taking into the account the practical difficulties faced by public sector banks in reporting such categories of cases.

CVC

It has been decided that only if staff of the bank is involved in the fraud cases of below Rs one lakh and above Rs 10,000, would such cases need to be reported or complaint filed with local police station by the bank branch concerned, the commission said in a directive to chiefs of all the banks.

The cases of frauds of upto Rs one lakh and not below Rs 10,000 are to be scrutinised by banks officials concerned for further necessary action, a senior CVC official said.

As of September 30, 2016, the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) declared by various scheduled commercial banks stood at a whopping Rs 6,65,864 crore, according to an official data.

The NPAs of the country’s largest lender State Bank of India is Rs 97,356 crore, followed by Rs 54,640 crore of Punjab National Bank and Rs 44,040 crore of Bank of India, it said.

Bank of Baroda has NPAs of Rs 35,467 crore, Canara Bank Rs 31,466 crore, Indian Overseas Bank Rs 31,073 crore, Union Bank of India Rs 27,891 crore, IDBI Bank Limited Rs 25,973 crore, Central Bank of India Rs 25,718 crore, Allahabad Bank Rs 18,852 crore and Oriental Bank of Commerce Rs 18,383 crore, said the data, which was given by the government in Rajya Sabha in August last year.

 

1,770 Calorie Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Sandwich Topped with Bacon is the New Internet Frenzy

Which is the wackiest food combination that you have ever tried? Well, we are sure it is nothing as crazy as a Cinnamon Roll

1,770 Calorie Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Sandwich Topped with Bacon is the New Internet Frenzy

Ice Cream Sandwich topped with Bacon. Yes, you heard it right! And that’s not all, it racks up a whopping 1,770 calories, which makes it an once-in-a-lifetime snack. Kauffman Stadium, a baseball stadium and in Kansas City, Missouri, has recently unleashed its deadliest sandwich. While every year people indulged in hot dogs, beer, and peanuts as they watched the matches, this time the stadium brought in a surprise for its visitors, which soon became an internet sensation. Here’s everything you need to know about this extremely high calorie sandwich.

What’s the Hype About?

View image on Twitter

Kauffman Stadium has fans visiting for baseball games and during the matches, one can buy finger foods to gorge on. The hottest selling item on their menu right now is the Bacon Covered Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Sandwich. The dessert is actually a giant-sized, glazed cinnamon bun that is sliced in half. At the centre of the bun lies a huge blob of ice cream, which is then topped with lots of candied bacon bites. To finish the dessert preparation, some more syrup is poured on the dish, along with sliced strawberries and a dash of powdered sugar. Mouthwatering much? The entire dessert adds up to a whopping 1,770 calories!

China’s Quantum Satellite Dispatches Transmissions Over a Record Distance of 1,200 Kilometres

A Chinese quantum satellite has dispatched transmissions over a distance of 1,200km (746 miles), a dozen times further than the previous record, a breakthrough in a technology that could be used to deliver secure messages, state media said on Friday.

China launched the world’s first quantum satellite last August, to help establish “hack proof” communications between space and the ground, state media said at the time.

China's Quantum Satellite Dispatches Transmissions Over a Record Distance of 1,200 Kilometres

The feat opens up “bright prospects” for quantum communications, said Pan Jianwei, the lead scientist of the Chinese team, Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The scientists exploited the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, in which a particle can affect a far-off twin instantly, somehow overcoming the long distance separating them, a situation termed “spooky action at a distance” by the Nobel-prize winning physicist Albert Einstein, Xinhua added.

The team had successfully distributed entangled photon pairs over 1,200km, it said, outstripping the distance of up to 100km (62 miles) at which entanglement had previously been achieved.

The technology so far is “the only way to establish secure keys between two distant locations on earth without relying on trustful relay,” Pan told Xinhua, referring to encrypted messages.

The new development “illustrates the possibility of a future global quantum communication network” the journal Science, which published the results of the Chinese team, said on its website.

China still lags behind the United States and Russia in space technology, although President Xi Jinping has prioritized advancing its space program, citing national security and defence.

China insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes, but the US Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.

China’s launch of the first experimental quantum satellite was a “notable advance in cryptography research”, the Pentagon said this month.

 

Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Just 1 Million Units Sold in 8 Months?

Google’s flagship Android device has now sold over 1 million units, media reported, saying the figure was reached based on downloads of an application exclusive to the device.

While this is a milestone in the eight-month history of Pixel seen as Google’s answer to the Apple iPhone, the number is overshadowed by its competition.

In comparison, Apple sold over 70 million iPhones (which included iPhone 7) in the last quarter of 2016 while Samsung is estimated to have sold 5 million units of Galaxy S8 in the first month of its release.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Just 1 Million Units Sold in 8 Months?

According to Arstechnica, Google doesn’t release sales data but the installs of the device-exclusive “Pixel Launcher” app has just passed the 1 million mark. The data includes pre-installed apps on new Pixel phones and doesn’t count installs on third-party devices and so can accurately estimate the number of Pixel phones sold, the report said.

Launched last year, Pixel is the first smartphone that works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. The 5-inch smartphone is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset, 4GB of RAM and runs on Android Nougat 7.0 operating system. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The smartphone sports 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels. On the front, it sports an 8-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels.

The device also has Pixel Imprint – a fingerprint scanner on the back of the smartphone for quick access to all apps, texts and e-mails.

Home buyers, wait for GST rollout on July 1. Here’s why

Is it a good time to buy a house? This is the perennial question on the minds of home buyers. But this question assumes significance as India moves to a new indirect tax regime, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1.

Experts say that buyers will benefit if they buy houses in projects launched post July 1. Though a 4.5% service tax is being replaced by a 12% GST, the advantage is a number of hidden and cascading taxes will be removed under the new regime. Developers will also get several tax credits under GST, leading experts to conclude that new projects launched July 1, are likely to pinch buyers less.

VAT and sales tax are not reflected on the invoice in most states, when a consumer buys a house, but are added to the cost.

“The heavily taxed real estate sector welcomes a single stable 12% GST rate, inclusive of the value of land and with full input tax credits,” said Rajeev Talwar, CEO, DLF and chairman of NAREDCO.

GST

But these tax credits will not be available for projects that are under-construction and nearing completion, also ready flats.

To allay fears whether developers will pass on the tax credit benefits to consumers, the government has proposed anti-profiteering measures.

Affordable housing (houses that cost less Rs 30 lakh) will continue to be outside the tax net.

Many developers are offering pre-GST discounts but experts warn against them as they are ways for builders to collect money and make pending payments. Reducing inventory through deep discounts is also a motivation for developers.

Builders in Noida and Greater Noida are advising their existing buyers to clear their remaining property dues before July 1 to avoid a 12% GST and pay 4.6% service tax, instead.

Experts warn against such claims.

“The government has introduced anti-profiteering clauses to ensure the input tax credits that builders claim after GST is passed on to buyers, of houses that will be handed over after July 1. The expectation is the builders will extend a discount on the amount due from buyers to protect them against a 12% GST,” said Amit Bhagat, partner, indirect taxes, PwC India

But experts and developers are divided on the impact that GST will have on the real estate sector.

“Confusion persists about the impact of GST on the different segments of housing such as luxury, affordable. But we are working closely with the government and are hopeful that initial hiccups will be ironed out once GST is implemented,” said Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaursons and vice-president of CREDAI (National). The 5-8% stamp duty charged during registration of a house will continue to be levied under GST, but developers want clarity on it.

While developers are cheering the unified tax regime that will replace the plethora of state and central levies on realty, but many said that due to multiple layers of GST on land and raw materials, project costs could escalate.

Many developers are offering pre-GST discounts but experts warn against them as they are ways for builders to collect money and make pending payments. Reducing inventory through deep discounts is also a motivation for developers.

 

Nike to slash 1,400 jobs, cut sneaker styles in shakeup

In this Wednesday, March 22, 2017, file photo, the Nike logo appears above the post where it trades on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. On Thursday, June 15, 2017, Nike said it plans to cut about 1,400 jobs, reduce the number of sneaker styles it offers by a quarter and sell more shoes directly to customers online. The company says the changes to its business structure will help it offer more products to customers faster.

Nike(AP File Photo)

Nike wants to be more nimble on its feet and sell more shoes directly to customers online as part of a restructuring in which it plans to cut about 1,400 jobs and reduce the number of sneaker styles it offers by a quarter.

The company announced several changes to its business structure Thursday, saying the moves will help it offer more products to customers faster.

Nike, which is based in Beaverton, Oregon, says the jobs cuts represent about 2 percent of its 70,000 employees around the world.

It also says a main focus will be the 12 key cities in 10 countries that it expects to represent more than 80 percent of its projected growth through 2020.

Shares of Nike Inc. fell more than 2 percent to $53.35 on Thursday.