GST rate cut: Refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen appliances to be cheaper from today

GST rate cut: Refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen appliances to be cheaper from today

Consumer appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, small screen TVs, vacuum cleaners and sundry kitchen essentials will now cost 7-8 per cent less, as companies prepare to pass on the benefits of the recent GST revisions. Last week the Modi government had announced the biggest GST rate cut since last November and slashed the levy on several white goods and commonly used kitchen appliances like mixer-grinders and juicers by 10 per cent – from the highest tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent. The new rate comes into effect today.

According to The Economic Times, with this development, the total taxation amount on several consumer electronic products is now lower than what it was during the earlier VAT regime, when it stood at around 26.5 per cent. Better still, industry insiders claim that prices will come down to nearly a two-year low.

“With the revision of GST rate on refrigerators and washing machines, there will be a reduction of price to the tune of 7-8 per cent for the end consumer. Godrej will pass on the entire benefit of GST reduction to the consumers,” said Godrej Appliances Business Head and Executive Vice President Kamal Nandi, adding that the rate cut will provide relief to the appliances industry.

“The revision will make refrigerators and washing machines more affordable which will accelerate the penetration of these appliances across India. This, in turn, will lead to a spur in demand which will lead to increase in production and, hence, have a positive impact on the GDP,” he explained.

Korean consumer durable majors LG has likewise committed to pass on the full benefit of the GST rate cut to the consumers. Citing sources in the know the daily added that the company has dropped prices by 8-9 per cent, while Samsung and Godrej will be reducing prices by more than 7.81 per cent across all products that got a tax cut. Panasonic’s net price cut is between 7-8 per cent.

The price cuts vary because some companies have passed on the complete benefit of the tax cut while keeping dealer prices intact but some brands have also reduced the dealer price, thus increasing the net price cut. The tax component is calculated on dealer price to arrive at the product’s maximum retail prices.

So LG has revised the price of its 335-litre frost-free refrigerator price from Rs 46,490 to Rs 42,840 – a price drop of 8.5 per cent – and a 6.2 kg top load washing machine is now 8.7 per cent cheaper at Rs 18,390. On the other hand, a Godrej 190-litre direct cool refrigerator is now priced 7.8 per cent lower at Rs 15,257, against Rs 16,550 earlier.

Godrej Appliances business head Kamal Nandi told the daily that for the stock already in trade, the manufacturers will supply new pricing labels to the retailers mentioning the new MRP, which they will stick on the product packaging. So if you are going shopping for one of the products that recently enjoyed a tax cut, check for reduced prices before you pay up.

The industry is optimistic that the tax cut will fuel demand and provide a new impetus for growth, especially ahead of the upcoming festive season. The Indian consumer, after all, has largely been holding back on discretionary spending since demonetisation in November 2016.

“The goods to benefit the most will be washing machines and refrigerators, where we expect growth to pick up substantially. The reduced taxes in television sets of up to 26 inches will ensure increased penetration and affordability in smaller parts of the country. We plan to pass on the complete benefits translating to around 7-8 per cent,” said Manish Sharma, president and CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia and President, CEAMA.

However, if you are planning to buy a larger-sized LED TV – 32 inches or more – you’d best do so in a hurry. Because the buzz is that their prices will go up next month.
[“source=indiatoday]

Google Flights Expands ‘Tips’ to Offer Cheaper Hotel Bookings, Google Trips Now Shows Discounts

Google Flights Expands 'Tips' to Offer Cheaper Hotel Bookings, Google Trips Now Shows Discounts

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tips on Google Flights will now suggest cost-effective hotel bookings
  • Google Flights was previously providing tips on flight bookings
  • Google Trips app offers access to deals through ‘Discounts’ feature

Making the experience better during this travel season, Google Flights has received a new update that expands the coverage of its Tips with enhanced machine learning efforts to make hotel bookings cost-effective. Google Trips, on the other hand, now comes with a Discounts feature.

Back in August, Google Flights was upgraded with Tips feature, which offered recommendations to save air travel costs. The feature was originally limited to flight bookings. But now, Google has used machine learning to provide you with tips even when you pick a hotel for your stay. You will receive tips above the results of your hotel bookings when room rates are higher than usual, or if the area is busier than usual due to a holiday or in case of any occupational instance such as a music concert or a business conference. All this will eventually help you avoid the busy dates and get the hotels at an affordable charge.

In addition to tips about the change in prices, you can opt for Hotel Price Tracking on your smartphone to get email price alerts about price drops on your choices of hotels. This new feature will also be available on the desktop version of Google Flights site in 2018.

Alongside the updated Google Flights, Google has brought a new version of the Google Trips app with the Discount feature. The new addition will give you instant access to deals on tickets and tours related to top attractions and activities. “Book and save on a tour of the Mayan ruins near Cancun, or get priority access to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. No matter where you’re headed (and if you need ideas, read on), Trips makes it easy to browse and access fun stuff to do on your vacation without breaking the bank,” Google VP of Travel Products Richard Holden said in a blog post.

Deals through the Discount feature on Google Trips will surface for various top attractions, activities, and tours around your location in the coming days.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera is way cheaper than the original

Image result for Samsung's new Gear 360 camera is way cheaper than the originalGet your wallet out because you’ll finally be able to buy Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera starting tomorrow, May 25.

The smaller, more powerful second-generation 360-degree camera will cost $230, which makes it far more affordable than the original’s $350 launch price. You’ll be able to pick up the camera from Samsung, Best Buy, Amazon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular.

Even better is the promotion Samsung’s running: buy a Galaxy S8/S8+ between May 25 and June 19 and you can nab the new camera for only $50.

Though the new Gear 360 is designed to work best with the Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung smartly added iOS support this time around, opening the camera up to many more users.

Livestreaming to various platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and Samsung VR), real 4K resolution recording, longer battery life, and the camera’s new handle/body all contribute to a better 360 shooting experience.

Despite some shortcomings, we praised the original Gear 360 for its sleek looks and effortless connectivity and recording capabilities.

A year ago Samsung was one of the first with a consumer 360 camera and the only one to really nail down the basics, but there’s tons of competition now. Every company from Kodak to Garmin have one. And if they don’t yet (like GoPro), they will.

The $230 price, however, gives the new Gear 360 an edge; most comparable consumer 360 cameras cost $300 or more.

If you’re new to 360 cameras, here are a few examples of the kind of 360 photos and videos you can shoot with the Gear 360:

Discovered I could fly yesterday while testing the Samsung Gear 360. (This is a 360 degree photo. Please look around.)

TOPICS: 360 CAMERAS, CAMERAS, GEAR 360, SAMSUNG, TECH

Mi Notebook Air May Remind You of Another Computer — But Cheaper

Mi Notebook Air, the New Xiaomi Laptop, May Remind You of Another Computer -- But Cheaper

The founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, doesn’t like to be compared to Steve Jobs, but the latest product from the company, the Mi Notebook Air will do very little to convince people otherwise. You don’t have to have a degree from Stanford in computer science to see the similarities with Apple’s Macbook Air, right down to a portion of the name. That said, the Mi Notebooks are a worthy challenger for the computers coming out of Cupertino.

Who is Xiaomi?

Just in case you haven’t heard of Xiaomi, the Chinese company was founded in 2010 by Jun, and its rise to the smartphone leader board has been remarkable.  In just five short years, the company has become the fifth largest smartphone maker, selling close to 71 million units in 2015.

In addition to the phones, the company has a range of other products, including tablets, personal transports, drones, healthcare monitors, cloud services and more.

First Xiaomi Laptop: The Mi Notebook Air

The first ever laptop line by Xiaomi was a big surprise when it was announced at a recent press event in Beijing. And the company didn’t disappoint when it introduced two notebooks, a 13.3″ and a 12.5″ version. So here is a basic comparison between the Xiaomi and Apple Air notebooks.

The 13.3″ Mi Notebook Air

The 13.3″ Mi notebook is 14.8mm (0.58 inches) thick and weighs in at 1.28kg or 2.82 pounds, which makes it slightly thinner and lighter than the Apple version. The real differentiator is the discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX graphics card and 256GB SSD storage that come standard on the Xiaomi. Not having to share the memory to process games and graphic intensive applications means the Mi notebook is going to work well for gamers and designers.

Xiaomi Laptop - Mi Notebook Air-970-80

The processor is an Intel 2.3GHz Core i5-6200U (Turbo up to 2.7GHz), with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 9.5 hour battery life, according to the company. These are all great features for a flagship PC, but what is more impressive is the price, which comes in at less than the 11″ Macbook Air at $750.

The 13″ inch MacBook Air has many different configurations, but the one that currently has the $999.00 price tag on the company’s site has the following specs. It comes in a little bigger than the Mi Note at 17mm (0.66 inches) thick and weighing in at 1.35kg (2.9 pounds). The processor is a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo up to 2.7GHz), with 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of flash storage.

The 12.5″ Mi Notebook Air

The 12.5″ Mi notebook is slimmer and weighs less, coming in at 12.9mm (0.5 inches) and 1.07kg (2.3 pounds). The specs also come down considerably, which is not surprising since it is more than $200 cheaper.

The processor is an Intel Core M3 CPU and it includes 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, one USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port. The battery life is much better on this version, which lets you enjoy two additional hours compared to the 13″ model. You get all this for $520, not bad when you compare it to the 11″ Macbook air.

Xiaomi Laptop - Mi Notebook Air with a diagonal of 12.5 inches

The 11″ Macbook air is thicker at 17mm or 0.66 inches and weighs almost the same at 1.08kg. However, the Mac has a better processor with the Intel Core i5 and more options as to how you can configure your device. The standard version includes 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and 9 hours of battery life. The latest available price for these specs from Apple is $899, which is $379 more expensive than the Xiaomi.

The Price Difference for Small Businesses

Small businesses are always on the lookout for affordable technology, and Xiaomi makes a great case to merit a second or even a third look at what it is offering. Price differences of $249 and $379 are considerable and may be enough to sway many owners to make the change. But it is important to remember Apple has carved out a niche market for creative types who will almost always go for the Macbook, and there is nothing Xiaomi or anyone else can do about that.

Both the Mi Notebook and Macbook have great specs, but Apple gives you more configuration options. Since this is the first offering from Xiaomi, it is limited, but if the company takes the same route for its notebooks as it did its smartphones, it won’t be long before it makes more options available for its customers.

Though there’s no knowing when Xiami will offer this notebook for sale outside China, those determined enough can doubtless find a way to get it. The question is, would this device be an asset to your business?

Image: Xiaomi

[“source-smallbiztrends”]