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Why Restaurants in India should build an Appetite for Artificial Intelligence

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New Delhi, June 1 : The role of AI continues to mark an impact on multiple sectors in India. The use of such phenomena’s Like AI and Learning Machines in the world of digital and computer science was limited. However it is quite a buzz now and establishing in multiple sectors like technology, education, finance, marketing, media, transportation, healthcare etc. India is perfectly keen on adapting the Artificial Intelligence which can lead to economic transformation as the food price inflation is growing with sluggish economy in India.

The rise of WPI (Wholesale Price Index) 3.18% (April 2018) in India which is also estimating 2.86% growth of WPI (Wholesale Price Index) in the coming months. It is important for the Hospitality sector to catch up with the developments of AI to diminish the inflation. From cooking food to detecting freshness, it can leverage the sale force of food and beverage services by improving hygienic offerings which ultimately optimise better services.

Talking about Artificial Intelligence for the catering business is main challenge as the technology continues to pose threat by differentiating between artificial brains and human brains; but at the same time it is an opportunity to explore the use of artificial Intelligence to ensure the amazing offerings with technology advancement on services.

AI applications is the most innovative approach to deal with customer’s satisfaction and exceed expectations of the customers in the Restaurant and Catering industry.

Chatbots and Apps – Restaurants and Catering food services can use virtual guides and assistants to respond to customer listful of inquiries and to process and customize customer orders in time.

· Robots – Restaurants and Catering services can us AI-driven robots to increase capacity and speed of food preparation and delivery.

· Recommendation engines – Developers are designing applications which use AI to help consumers select the meals based on their taste preferences.

· Kiosks – Restaurants and food services should integrate AI-driven Kiosks to reduce customer waiting time and enhance the customer ordering experience.

Getting your Food served by Robots in Wedding, Corporate Events and Restaurants – Can Robots be a fantastic waiters.

What if AI powered Robots greets you in the front desk ensure all your guest served with a welcome drink & starters and monitors your buffet. Understanding the taste and preference of the customers handling more than 1000 customers at a time will be a breeze. AI can give value added services such as security & hygiene boost in addition to food & beverage service & recommendations along with projecting all your guest and taking care of the security. From giving an opportunity of selecting food of your choice to servicing tasty food on the spot and time which is also cost effective. Taking a lead in testing robot waiters will be a mixed success Indian catering business.

Advantages: Robot waiters will offer a consistent brand experience which can be a unique attraction to the professional clients and customers. Labour cost also said to be reduced where we can accept the selling point will be high.

Disadvantages: a highly technical & specialised workforce will be required, making the adoption rate slow. Threats to hacking, corruption of hardware & software. They might be less coordinated than human, they work on fix track and walk slowly to avoid collision. Being a machine they can also loose battery or power and break down easily.

Social Acceptance:

Societal Acceptance can be a long process. Human Waiters are more focused on relationship building with the customers to build the credibility of the brand rather than only focusing on operational part. But Major improvement in the part of Artificial Intelligence needed to be done in short period of time which should now likely be integrated as the mainstream in the food service and Hospitality sector.

In conclusion AI & Machine learning is opening up a new wave of technologies for business to adapt, adopt & disrupt consumer behaviour and norms in food service & preparation. Creative applications in areas that demand a drive customer focus, delivery & convenience will be key winners in the AI & Machine learning implementation in the industry.

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Oil Ministry yet to recover $510 mn from contractors under PSC: CAG

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Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has not recovered $510 million as cost of unfinished minimum work programme (CoUMWP) from contractors in respect of 45 blocks.

The CAG report on Union Government (Economic & Service Ministries-Civil) – Compliance Audit Observations, which includes important audit findings, was presented in the Parliament on Wednesday.

It noted that the government awarded 254 blocks during the New Exploration and Licensing Policy’s (NELP) I to IX rounds for exploration of oil and gas. As per the terms and conditions of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC), contractors are required to pay the cost of unfinished minimum work programme, if the block is relinquished or terminated by government.

However, contractors of 54 relinquished blocks failed to pay the CoUMWP as specified in the PSCs.

“An amount of $510.79 million (Rs 3,652.64 crore), which was 77 per cent of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas’s (MoPNG) approved amount of $664.67 million (Rs 4,753.03 crore) on account of CoUMWP in respect of 45 blocks still remained unrecovered (September 2019),” the report said.

It added that the CoUMWP for nine blocks is yet to be worked out by Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) or yet to be approved by the ministry.

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IT Dept ignored land/flat sellers as ‘potential assessees’: CAG

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New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that during financial years 2014-15 to 2017-18, the IT Department did not initiate any action regarding land and flat sellers who could be potential assessees.

The Performance Audit on ‘Search and Seizure Assessments in Income Tax Department’, tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday, said: “The Department did not initiate any action in respect of sellers of land/flat/ commodities pointed out in the respective Appraisal Report, who could be potential assessees. The department also did not confirm whether these were in the tax net of the department and regularly filing returns.”

It also said that there were loopholes and deficiencies in the provisions of the Act in respect of search assessments, mainly relating to absence of specific provisions in the Act and Rules, the report said.

“In respect of certain Groups, 76.5 per cent of additions made in search assessments did not stand the test of judicial scrutiny in appeals at the level of CIT (A)/ITAT,” it said.

The report found that assessing officers (AOs), while finalising the assessments, did not take a uniform stand in making additions on account of bogus purchases, accommodation entries and in adoption of figures of assessed income or revised income.

“The additions were made arbitrarily either on lump sum amount basis or different percentage ranging from five per cent to 50 per cent under similar circumstances without proper justification,” the report said.

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IT Dept computed interests wrongly in most assessment cases: CAG

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Direct tax Incom

New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has said that the Income Tax Department computed interests wrongly in about 77 per cent of the assessment cases it had audited.

In its report on “Direct Taxes of the Union Government for the year ended March 2019”, tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday, the government auditor said that it had audited 6,217 assessment cases which were processed or completed through the AST module and examined the correctness of interest, calculated through the system and modified by assessing officers (AO) with respect to Sections 234A, 234B, 234C and 244A of the Income Tax Act.

The report said that interest was calculated incorrectly through the AST system, despite the fact that the system was designed, inter alia, to undertake assessment functions of calculation of interest under various sections of the Income Tax Act.

“The interest was wrongly computed by the ITD, in 76.68 per cent of cases of the sample of 6,217 selected out of a population of 8,35,727 records, either due to systemic deficiencies or due to incorrect interventions by the AOs,” it said.

Assessing officers also did not take any step to rectify the incorrect interest, under Sections 234A, 234B, 234C and 244A of the Act, calculated through the system, even though the AST system allowed them to modify the value of interest in accordance with the provisions of the Act, thereby leading to either short levy excess levy of interest.

The CAG recommended that the Central Board of Direct Taxies may institute appropriate checks and balances in the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) to prevent recurrence of error in computation of tax and interest.

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