Tag Archives: Indian Technology

10.3% Service Tax For Games, Music And Software Downloads In India

Get ready to shell more for Game and software downloads from foreign publishers in India. According to a new clause in the 2010 Budget, users will have to shell out 10.3% service tax when they download, games, music or software from a foreign supplier.

Service Tax on Downloads in India

The 10.3% service tax will be applicable for downloads on both your personal computer and mobile, even if you download the game or software for personal use. Earlier, downloads were taxable only if you downloaded content to further resell it to someone else.

Mr N.R. Badrinath, a partner with a consulting firm Accretive Business Consulting, told Business Line that in case of downloads made available by foreign suppliers, under the reverse charge principle’ the person downloading such software in India would need to pay the service tax at 10.3 per cent.

This means that even an individual downloading software for personal use would need to pay the service tax, seek registration under the service tax provisions and also file the statutory returns thereafter.

Non-compliance with the provisions could trigger interest and penalty. This amendment brought in with respect to information technology software services will create a lot of hardships,Mr Badrinath said.

This is definitely bad news for people who used online means to download software which are not available off-the-shelf in India, and will further piracy problems which publishers have been facing in India.

However, a relief comes from the fact that software created by foreign publishers available off-the-shelf in retail stores will not come under the purview of the new taxes and will continue to attract only custom duty of 8.24%.

Another problem right now as I can see is that, there is no clear instructions on who this service tax will be applied and whether foreign publishers will have to add it to the cost of the product itself. I will try and update on the situation once I get more information about it, but one thing is for sure that this is definitely going to increase piracy in India and cause more headaches to software publishers. On the other hand, this could also mean that more and more publishers would want to start selling their software or games through retail stores, rather than having to burden users with additional charges.

[The Hindu Business Line via Tech Raga]

Image Credit: mytaxform.info

Karnataka Government Uses Google Analytics From Different Site

This has to be a height of laziness. Couple of websites owned by the Karnataka Government, including Karnataka.gov.in and Karunadu.gov.in have been using Google Analytics tracking code which was originally created by a third party site.

The developers behind Karnataka Government site were lazy enough to copy the Google Analytics code from SEO Consultants along with some CSS code which was part of a tutorial on the site, this goes to show how serious the Government of Karnataka is about their online presence.

Karanataka Government Google Analytics

Karnataka Government Detailed Google Analytics

According to the blog post, the site in question started receiving lots of hits, and further verification showed that the hits were coming from the site run by Government of Karnataka.

Now, there are several problems here. First of all, the Karnataka Government is sharing all their visitor information with someone else. Secondly, the developers are so ignorant that they did not care to check what code they were copying into the site. So how can you trust the people behind this?

And another glaring fact that the post in question bought out was that this is happening since the past 45 days, and the author of the post tried to contact the Government of Karnataka several times, however, all he received were canned responses, so do they really care?

I am pretty sure that the developers are clueless about this, and they would not care as to what they put up on the website. Thank God, that they did not decide to copy content from a malware website.

I am a very big evangelist for Governments using the online channel to showcase information and interacting with people. However, such irresponsibility goes on to show how much they care about adopting to the new methods that make communication easier. What do you think?

24 Hours Loot: Indian Woot Clone

When Woot.com started out, not many people thought it would succeed, however, it has been almost 6 years since it launched and it has become one of the most successful online retailer.

24hoursloot

For those who are not aware of Woot, it is a online retail site, which only sells one discounted product in 24 hours, the products have a flat shipping rate and are not changed even if they are sold out, except for "Woot-Off", where more than one product is sold in a day.

24 Hours Loot Woot Indian Clone

24 Hours Loot (http://24hoursloot.com) is an Indian Woot Clone, which will bring Woot like deals to Indian customers. 24 Hours Loot works on the same philosophy that Woot runs on:

24hoursLoot is an online store for selling a new item (such as t-shirts, toys, electronics products, furniture and more..) everyday at deep discounted price in limited quantity/stock. A new item is released every midnight at 12AM Indian standard time, seven days a week. If an item sells out during its run (i.e. for next 24 hours), a new item will not appear until the next release time.

Apparently the site has been able to sell out the last three day’s products and they have only been online for 4 days now. So if you have been waiting for something like Woot in India, go ahead and key an eye on 24 Hours Loot.

Thanks for the tip Sherry

TCS.com Hacked By International Hacker

The website TCS.com which belongs to India’s largest software vendor, Tata Consultancy Services, was hacked today by a French hacker. This hack will definitely lead to total embarrassment for the software firm who thrives on creating software and security systems day in and day out.

If you visit TCS.com right now you will be greeted with a screen which looks similar to the screenshot below.

tcs_hacked

However, TCS is not the only high profile site to be hacked, in recent times the Orkut Brazil blog was hacked along with the high profile TechCrunch being hacked as well. Just goes on to show that hackers could easily get into your system if you do not use secured software.

As a word of advice, I would like to ask users to keep their web software up-to-date, no matter if it is a pain to do, because you could be the next in line to get hacked for using software which has vulnerabilities.

Update: The TCS.com hack looks like a DNS job and not a web software hack. was also recently hacked using a DNS loophole.

Update: The hacker may not be from France, however, the language used by the hacker is French. I have updated the post to reflect the same.

Boomi.in: Indian Real Estate Search Aggregator

Boomi.in is a Indian startup and vertical search engine for Real estate properties in India. You can search for properties listed on several Indian real estate websites from a single interface at Boomi.

boomi_indian_real_estate_search

Finding an apartment for rent or sale can be a real nightmare, specially when agents are hell bent on squeezing money out of you for providing sub-par services. However, the online Indian real estate market has not taken off yet, however, there are a large number of players now who offer online listings for apartments and rents.

Boomi.in offers a vertical search engine that shows you listings of Indian properties from several different websites in a single place making it easier to search and find apartments.

indian_property_listing

In addition to general search, Boomi also allows users to narrow down search results based on price, regions, locality, property type and whether a property is listed by a broker, owner or builder. The interface is simple and straightforward and does not push ads on your face. Users can also save properties to their personal accounts once they register.

So if you are looking to buy or rent a property in India, head over to Boomi.in to make your life simpler.