3 in 4 public sector bank ATMs prone to fraud, GST cut for 88 items, and more top news

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Nearly 74% ATMs of public sector banks are vulnerable to security breaches. That’s because they are running on outdated software such as Windows XP, which Microsoft stopped supporting as far back as 2014. Last month, the RBI instructed banks to bolster ATMs’ system security by August, and install appropriate operating systems in a phased manner by June next year. The number of ATM and debit card frauds (pdf) rose to 7,804 in April-December 2017 from 6,709 in 2016-17, according to RBI data. The amount involved almost doubled to ₹75.42 crore from ₹38.67 crore.

Just 35 goods will attract 28% GST now, down from 226 a year ago. The GST Council has slashed rates for 88 items including footwear, refrigerators, washing machines and small screen TVs while exempting sanitary napkins from the levy altogether. Only luxury and sin goods (such as pan masala, cigarettes, aerated beverages and motor vehicles) will be left in the highest slab once the new GST rates kick in on 27 July. Meanwhile, tax authorities are keeping tabs on companies to see if they pass on the tax rate cuts to consumers. Here’s the full list of everything that will get cheaper.

There’s been a 15-fold rise in complaints against e-commerce portals in the last four years. The total complaint count spiked to 78,000 in FY18 from 5,204 in FY14 with the failure to refund payments accounting for more than a fifth of all grievances, the New Indian Express reports, quoting unidentified officials from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. About 17% of complaints were about defective products. In January, India introduced the Consumer Protection Bill 2018, which makes e-shopping sites liable for selling fake products or defective items.

India and nine other Asian economies could together overtake the US in GDP terms by 2030. A DBS report estimates that the combined GDP of these economies – China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand – and India will top $28 trillion, much higher than the US’ $22.33 trillion. But this is “neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition to invest in Asia,” the report adds, pointing out challenges such as climate change, rising inequality, worsening trade environment and technological disruption.

Coming soon: Fruits with special powers. Researchers have begun to use gene editing to produce fruits with special abilities, according to The Guardian. Using genetic editing tools like Crispr, experts are developing sweeter strawberries, mushrooms that don’t brown and wheat that can be consumed by people with celiac disease, and at a far faster pace than if they used conventional breeding methods. Such tech could help farmers grow produce that’s resistant to disease, spoilage and the effects of climate change.

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