24, February 2017

1.Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) launches a Mobile Application for GST
Source : PIB

The Mobile Application enables taxpayers to be well informed of the latest updates on GST.  Taxpayers can also provide feedback and contact CBEC’s 24×7 helpdesk “CBEC Mitra” through a toll-free number or email, at the touch of a button.

Taxpayers can readily access a host of GST information such as:

  • Migration to GST-Approach and guidelines for migration
  • Draft Law-Model GST Law, IGST Law and GST Compensation Law
  • Draft Rules-Rules related to Registration, Returns, Payment, Refund and Invoice
  • FAQs on GST/Various resources on GST such a videos, articles etc.
  • Related Website Links/Helpdesk/Email Contact

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2.Government to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016 -17 – Series IV
Source : PIB

The features of the Bond are given below:

 

Sl. No. Item Details
1 Product name Sovereign Gold Bond 2016-17 – Series IV
2 Issuance To be issued by Reserve Bank India on behalf of the Government of India.
3 Eligibility The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
4 Denomination The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
5 Tenor The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
6 Minimum size Minimum permissible investment will be 1 grams of gold.
7 Maximum limit The maximum amount subscribed by an entity will not be more than 500 grams per person per fiscal year (April-March). A self-declaration to this effect will be obtained.
8 Joint holder In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 500 grams will be applied to the first applicant only.
9 Issue price Price of Bond will be fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited for the week (Monday to Friday) preceding the subscription period. The issue price of the Gold Bonds will be ` 50 per gram less than the nominal value.
10 Payment option Payment for the Bonds will be through cash payment (upto a maximum of Rs. 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.
11 Issuance form The Gold Bonds will be issued as Government of India Stocks under GS Act, 2006. The investors will be issued a Holding Certificate for the same. The Bonds are eligible for conversion into demat form.
12 Redemption price The redemption price will be in Indian Rupees based on previous week’s (Monday-Friday) simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by IBJA.
13 Sales channel Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices as may be notified and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange, either directly or through agents.
14 Interest rate The investors will be compensated at a fixed rate of 2.50 per cent per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value.
15 Collateral Bonds can be used as collateral for loans. The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
16 KYC Documentation Know-your-customer (KYC) norms will be the same as that for purchase of physical gold. KYC documents such as Voter ID, Aadhaar card/PAN or TAN /Passport will be required.
17 Tax treatment The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961). The capital gains tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual has been exempted. The indexation benefits will be provided to long term capital gains arising to any person on transfer of bond
18 Tradability Bonds will be tradable on stock exchanges within a fortnight of the issuance on a date as notified by the RBI.
19 SLR eligibility The Bonds will be eligible for Statutory Liquidity Ratio purposes.
20 Commission Commission for distribution of the bond shall be paid at the rate of 1% of the total subscription received  by  the  receiving offices and receiving offices shall share at least 50% of the commission so received with the agents or sub agents for the business procured through them.

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 3.Sikkim becomes 22nd State to join UDAY
Source : PIB

Sikkim would derive an Overall Net Benefit of approximately Rs. 207 crores through UDAY by way of cheaper funds, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, etc. during the period of turnaround.  The reduction in AT&C losses and transmission losses to 15% and 3.50% respectively is likely to bring additional revenue of around Rs. 179 crores.

Demand Side interventions in UDAY such as usage of energy-efficient LED bulbs, agricultural pumps, fans & air-conditioners and efficient industrial equipment through PAT (Perform, Achieve, Trade) would help in reducing peak load, flatten load curve and thus help in reducing energy consumption in the State of Sikkim. The gain is expected to be around Rs.25 crores.

The ultimate benefit of signing the MOU:

  • Reduced levels of transmission and AT&C losses would mean lesser cost per unit of electricity to consumers.
  • Further, financially and operationally healthy State Power Distribution department would be in a position to supply more power.
  • Higher demand for power would mean higher PLF of generating units and therefore, lesser cost per unit of electricity which would again mean lesser cost per unit of electricity to the consumers.
  • The scheme would also allow speedy availability of cheaper power to households in the State that are still without electricity.
  • Availability of 24*7 power to hitherto unconnected villages/households etc. would boost the economy, provide more employment opportunities for the people of the State and thereby, improve the standard of living of the people of the State.

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4.Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal
Source : PIB

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved investment for generation component of Arun-3 HEP (900 MW) for an estimated cost of Rs. 5723.72 crore at May 2015 Price Level
  • The project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal
  • The Run-of-River scheme envisages about 70 mtr. high concrete gravity dam and Head Race Tunnel (HRT) of 11.74 Km. with underground Power House containing four generating units of 225 MW each on Left Bank
  • An MoU was signed between Government of Nepal and SJVN Limited for the project in March, 2008 for execution on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period
  • The Project Development Agreement (PDA) signed on 25.11.2014, which provides 21.9% free power to Nepal for the entire concession period of 25 years
  • Employment generation of around 3000 persons is envisaged in construction of the project from both India and Nepal
  • The project will provide surplus power to India strengthening power availability in the country and will also strengthen economic linkages with Nepal
  • The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India

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5.The World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicine
Source : PIB

MoU to be signed between Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States and CCRH in the field of Homoeopathic Medicine

  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, will inaugurate the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicinal Products: National and Global strategies
  • The event is organised by Ministry of AYUSH and Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) and supported by Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIMH) & Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)

About World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicinal Products:

  • This is the first-of-its-kind forum considering the increased perception of the international world towards India as a key player in the progress of the homoeopathy drug industry
  • Forum to strategize the actionable aspects in the homoeopathic drug industry, which, in turn, will promote global harmonisation in the sector
  • One of the highlights of the forum will be exchange of Memorandum of Understanding among Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) and Indian bodies – Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) on cooperation in the field of Homoeopathic Medicine
  • It is hoped that this agreement will be a benchmark for many more agreements to follow with the aim to develop and harmonise homoeopathic pharmacopoeias and to strengthen regulatory provisions for homoeopathy in the whole world

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6.India, Israel to develop missile for Army

Source : The Hindu

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave the go-ahead for the deal to be executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).

  • The deal is for five regiments of the missile, which consists of 40 units and 200 missiles. It has a range of 50-70 km.
  • The system will be based on the older Barak system of Israel, which is in use in India.
  • The systems will be manufactured in India and would have an 80% indigenous content.
  • The DRDO would play a crucial role in developing the target homing system. Deliveries would begin in 2023.
  • The two countries are also in an advanced stage of negotiations for the purchase of two more long-range Phalcon Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS). The CCS had approved the deal for additional AWACS last year expected at a cost of Rs 7,500 crore.

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7.Legally vetted  pact on services tabled at WTO
Source : The Hindu

India has submitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) a legally vetted proposal on a global services pact that among other things, aims to ease norms for movement of skilled workers across borders for short-term work.

The Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) proposal is on the lines of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods. According to India, the proposed TFS pact is also about ‘facilitation’ – that is “making market access ‘effective’ and commercially meaningful and not about ‘new’ (or greater) market access.”

The proposed pact also aims to ensure portability of social security contributions, a single window mechanism for foreign investment approvals and cross-border insurance coverage to boost medical tourism.

TFA in goods:

The TFA in Goods — adopted by the WTO Members in 2014 — entered into force on Wednesday.

By 2030 the (TFA in Goods) Agreement could add 2.7% points per year to world trade growth and more than half a percentage point per year to world GDP growth.

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8.Rare butterfly varieties spotted in Srivilliputhur sanctuary
Source : The Hindu

Ayyanarkoil Falls, which is situated within the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Srivilliputhur, is also a habitat for very rare butterfly species.

The Rajapalayam Butterfly Club, a wing of Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam (WAR), has identified 220 species of butterflies here including the highly uncommon Silver Royal and Fluffy Tit, which were recently spotted again, as well as the Plain Blue Royal, Nilgiri Tit, Peacock Royal and Painted Sawtooth.

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