Best of PIB: 07 Feb 2017

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare constitutes a committee to achieve the target of doubling of income of farmers by March 2022

  • To understand the impact of demonetization on farming sector, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NIAP) have conducted a survey of farmers in few villages around Delhi (under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav-MGMG initiative) and the findings could not establish any significant adverse effect of demonetization on input availability, market arrivals of produce and area sown in Rabi season
  • In order to achieve the target of doubling of income of farmers by March 2022, the Department of Agriculture has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary. The committee has been tasked with
    • To study the current income level of farmers/ agricultural labourers
    • To measure the historical growth rate of the current income level
    • To determine the needed growth rate to double the income of farmers/agricultural labourers by the year 2021-22
    • To consider and recommend various strategies to be adopted to accomplish (iii) above
    • To recommend an institutional mechanism to review and monitor implementation   to  realize the goal
    • To examine any other related issue.
  • The committee so far has held five meetings and is deliberating on the suitable strategy  


Grievance Redressal Mechanism for the Jawans

  • The central government has implemented a web based Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) in all its Ministries / Departments including the Ministry of Defence
  • The system provides online access to all citizens including the jawans and other Armed Forces personnel to lodge their grievances with the Ministry of Defence
  • CPGRAMS system allows the Ministry to monitor the grievances and ensure their time bound redressal by the organisations / institutions concerned of the Ministry
  • The Armed Forces also have systems in place for the grievance redressal. The procedures for dealing with statutory and non-statutory complaints and representations have been laid down under
    • The Army Act, 1950
    • The Navy Act, 1957
    • The Air Force Act, 1950
    • The regulations and orders issued on the subject
  • There are also informal mechanisms in place for redressal of grievances in the Armed Forces like the sainik sammelans, personal interviews, suggestion boxes, informal meetings, etc.
  • A new redressal mechanism has been started wherein soldiers can air their grievances directly to the Chief of Army Staff through WhatsApp messages after exhausting all laid down redressal procedures


New umbrella scheme for empowerment of youth

  • Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has restructured youth affairs related schemes, with effect from 01.04.2016, as follows
  • Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), National Youth Corps (NYC), National Programme for Youth & Adolescent Development (NPYAD), Youth Hostels (YH), National Discipline Scheme (NDS), and National Young Leaders Programme (NYLP) etc have been restructured and merged to form an umbrella scheme Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram (RYSK). The restructuring is primarily an exercise for consolidation of the ongoing schemes
  • while National Service Scheme (NSS) and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) have been continued as separate Schemes due to the distinctive nature of their operational framework


Schemes for Minority Women

  • Nai Roshni – it is to develop Leadership amongst the Minority Women, with an aim to empower and instil confidence in women by providing knowledge, tool and techniques for interacting with Government system and others at different levels. The scheme is implemented through selected Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) all over the country
  • Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship – given for Meritorious Girls belonging to minorities implemented through Maulana Azad Education Foundation
  • Mahila Samridhi Yojana – is implemented through National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC). Skill development training is imparted to group of women in women friendly trades
    • Training period is of maximum six months
    • Stipend @ Rs.1000/- per trainee is provided during the period of training
    • The women forming Self Help Group (SHG) are provided with infusion of micro-credit of up to Rs.1 lakh per member for the purpose of using the skill developed during the training, for income generation activities


CBDT signs four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)

  • The four APAs signed are in relation to
    • Manufacturing
    • Financial Technology
    • Information Technology sectors
  • With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 130
  • In the current financial year, a total of 66 APAs (5 bilateral APAs and 61 unilateral APAs) have already been entered into
  • About APA
    • was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012
    • The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the prices of international transactions in advance
    • The progress of the APA Scheme strengthens the Government’s resolve of fostering a non-adversarial tax regime


India and Austria Sign a Protocol amending the India-Austria Double Taxation Avoidance Convention

  • The protocol is in respect to amending the Avoidance of  Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion 
  • The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.


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