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DoT cracks whip, tells telcos to pay pending AGR dues fast

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New Delhi, Dec 10 : The Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked telecom licencees to speed up the process of self-assessment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) based dues and the payment of over Rs 1.47 lakh crore and submit comprehensive representation on previous issued demands latest by December 13, 2019.

The letter issued by the DoT has been viewed by IANS. The deadline for payment of AGR dues is January 23, 2020.

Three telcos — Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Tele — have filed review petition of the Supreme Court order in October, which paved the way for the DoT to seek AGR dues, penalty and interest from the telcos.

“The comprehensive representation shall be submitted within a week latest by December 13, 2019,” DoT said in the letter to the telecom licensees, adding that majority of the licence fee assessments have been settled after the SC judgement and for any remaining issues, a comprehensive representation needs to be submitted to the department.

In light of the Supreme Court order on AGR computation, all the annual assessment for licence fees and spectrum usage charges for relevant years are being re-examined.

“And now since all the earlier demands are being re-examined with respect to the SC judgement, you are requested to kindly submit a comprehensive year-wise, circle-wise representation except for issues which have been decided by the SC,” the letter said.

“In this regard, it is pointed out that over a course of time, multiple representations related to LF (licence fee) assessments were received from various licencees for consideration by the department,” the DoT letter added.

Further, self-assessment of dues and payments along with the submission of relevant documents as per a licence finance wing letter of November 13 needs to be expedited, the letter said.

Any issues should be pointed out in the comprehensive representation to be submitted but in no case the self assessment of the dues and payments along with the submission of relevant documents are to be delayed, it pointed out.

The Supreme Court decided in favour of the government’s contention that all revenues, including that from non-core sources, would be counted in calculating AGR. Licence holders have to pay about 8 per cent of AGR to the DoT as fees. Telcos also pay about 3-4 per cent of AGR as spectrum usage charges.

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TikTok lawsuit against Trump ban could come as early as Tuesday

The lawsuit will also reportedly argue that the allegation that TikTok is a threat to US’ national security is baseless.

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San Francisco, Aug 9 : TikTok could file a lawsuit against the Donald Trump administration in the US as early as Tuesday over an executive order prohibiting transactions with the short video sharing platform’s Chinese owner within 45 days, NPR reported.

The lawsuit will argue that Trump’s sweeping ban on the application is unconstitutional because it did not give the company a chance to respond, said the source-based report on Saturday.

The lawsuit will also reportedly argue that the allegation that TikTok is a threat to US’ national security is baseless.

The executive order issued by Trump on August 6 night said that data collected by TikTok threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access personal and proprietary information of US citizens.

The order said the spread of mobile applications developed and owned by Chinese companies “continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request,” TikTok said in a blog post after the executive order.

“In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to,” it added.

TikTok alleged that the executive order was issued “without any due process.”

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Microsoft’s TikTok deal a ‘poisoned chalice’: Bill Gates

Trump earlier set a deadline around September 15 for Microsoft to close the deal with TikTok that it was pursuing.

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BILL Gates

San Francisco, Aug 9 : As Microsoft pursues talks to purchase the US business of TikTok, Bill Gates has termed the potential deal between the two companies a poisoned chalice.

In an interview with the Wired, published on Saturday, the Microsoft co-founder said that being a top player in the social media business is not a simple job.

“Who knows what’s going to happen with that deal. But yes, it’s a poison chalice,” the billionaire philanthropist was quoted as saying in the interview.

When asked if he is wary of Microsoft getting into the social media game, Gates suggested that the software giant’s entry will give Facebook more competition which is “probably a good thing.”

Reacting to a question on US President Donald Trump’s demand that that the country should get a large percentage of the proceeds if part of the short video-sharing platform TikTok’s business is bought by an American firm, Gates said that the way things were proceeding were quite strange and the cut thing is “doubly strange.”

“Anyway, Microsoft will have to deal with all of that,” he was quoted as saying.

Trump earlier set a deadline around September 15 for Microsoft to close the deal with TikTok that it was pursuing.

The US President followed it up with an executive order on August 6, prohibiting US firms from doing transactions with TikTok after September 20.

A “shocked” TikTok on August 7 threatened legal action against the executive order.

“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly — if not by the Administration, then by the US courts,” TikTok had said in the statement.

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Bitcoin-crazy rich Indians falling prey to fake crypto wallets

Moreover, growing usage of alternative currencies such as Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash due to their captivating features and models has been major factors backing the growth in the industry.

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Bitcoin

New Delhi, Aug 9 : With the Supreme Court striking down the curb on cryptocurrency trade in India in March this year, there has been a surge in Indians investing in Bitcoin and with this, cybercriminals have started mobile-based fake Blockchain-based crypto wallets to lure and con the rich and the wealthy in the country.

These Blockchain-based wallets offer handsome discounts, before conning people of their hard-earned Bitcoin/cash and then going incommunicado, according to industry watchers.

“I have seen so many wealthy Indian falling into the trap of such fake cryptocurrency wallets in the recent past. One gentleman just came to me who lost $50,000 (over Rs 37 lakh) while dealing with one such fake platform,” Manan Shah, Founder and CEO, Avalance Global Solutions, told IANS.

One Indian businessman lost a whopping Rs 28 crore in such crypto wallet scam, Shah informed.

A single Bitcoin currently costs $11,000 (over Rs 8 lakh) and Indians are now investing in crores aiming for higher returns.

The modus operandi of such fake wallets is simple. They target people via sending them messages on various social media groups, asking them to sell and buy Bitcoin via their apps.

The scamsters trick them to buy and sell Bitcoin via wallets and offer them trade opportunities with other app users across the world. Once they receive Bitcoin into their systems, they disappear and stop communication altogether.

Most of these transactions are happening via Swift Global Pay (SGP), Insta Global Pay (IGP) and International Global Pay wallets, informed Shah.

Go to the popular question-and-answer website Quora and you will know more about SGP.

“I do not see any genuinity in this wallet. I purchased virtual cards by paying Rs 3.70 kakh on SGP. It was delivered online on 15th July. Till now it is not accepted anywhere online. SGP site chat no response,” posted a user that goes with the name Kumar Chvks, Managing Director with an Indian firm.

“Email no response. So only the figures are shown on Dashboard. I tried to withdraw my money in the BTC PayPal and bank. None came till now. It is a clear cheating. Expected to be a scam of 7000 Cr to my estimation,” he further posted.

According to Sumit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX which is India’s largest and safest cryptocurrency exchange, as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to mature and increase in popularity, they expect more cryptocurrency scam apps to appear and other fraudulent activities emerging.

“Scammers and hackers are getting more sophisticated in their techniques. When installing apps, it is important to stick to some basic security principles, especially when virtual currencies are at stake,a Gupta told IANS.

The global cryptocurrency market was valued at $856.36 billion in 2018 and is projected to display robust growth represented by a CAGR of 11.9 per cent during 2019-2024.

According to Gupta, users should only trust cryptocurrency-related and other finance apps if they are linked from the official website of the service, and never enter sensitive information such as log-in credentials and account details into online forms unless they are fully certain of its security and legitimacy.

“Do your due diligence on the app on the number of downloads, ratings on the App Store, recommendations from legitimate publications, etc. before downloading. In addition, users should keep their devices updated, and use reputable mobile security solutions to identify, block, and remove threats from their devices,” he advised.

If something seems too good to be true, there is a high possibility that it is a scam and users should avoid it unless verified by a trusted party.

Bitcoin currency holds the major share in the market today, owing to the growing awareness among the Indian investors, coupled with availability of larger returns is proliferating the market growth.

Moreover, growing usage of alternative currencies such as Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash due to their captivating features and models has been major factors backing the growth in the industry.

CoinDCX has employed the best-in-industry security measures, and has partnered with leading security and compliance providers such as BitGo, providing secure custodianship and multisignature bitcoin wallet service, as well as Onfido, providing fully automated KYC identification that is seamless, protected, and secure.

“CoinDCX’s resilient security protocols including geographically distributed cold wallets, withdrawal confirmations, and 2-Factor Authentication, ensure that users’ funds are fully-protected at all times as well,” Gupta informed.

(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])

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