Best of PIB: 27 Jan 2017

TOP Scheme-Committee to be set up

  • A committee to identify the prospective medal winners for Olympic 2020 and 2024 has been reconstituted
  • It will be headed by Shri Abhinav Bindra
  • The identification will be done under TOP (Target Olympic Podium) scheme

About TOP Scheme

  • The scheme was formulated within the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF)
  • The objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games (it has been extended to even 2024 Olympics now)
  • Under the scheme the selected athletes are provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support which is expected to result in improved performance and a higher position in medals tally for the country
  • The disciplines covered are – Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting, Wresting and Yachting
  • The first committee was headed by Shri Anurag Thakur

 

TROPEX 17

  • Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) is an annual event of Indian Navy
  • It is a month long exercise
  • It will involve assets from Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Army and Air Force

 

GAAR provisions under IT Act 1961 – clarifications

  • Shall be effective from the Assessment Year 2018-19 onwards (for Financial Year 2017-18)
  • The provisions of General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) are contained in Chapter X-A of the Income Tax Act, 1961

Clarifications issued by CBDT

  • If the jurisdiction of FPI is based on non-tax commercial considerations and the main consideration of the agreement is not to obtain a tax benefit then the GAAR will not be applicable
  • GAAR will not interplay with the right of the taxpayer to select or choose method of implementing a transaction
  • Grandfathering as per IT Rules will be available to compulsorily convertible instruments, bonus issuances or split / consolidation of holdings in respect of investments made prior to 1stApril 2017 in the hands of same investor
  • In case of avoidance is sufficiently addressed by Limitation of Benefits (LoB) provisions in the tax treaty, there shall not be an occasion to invoke GAAR
  • GAAR will not apply if an arrangement is held as permissible by the Authority for Advance Rulings
  • The proposal to apply GAAR will be vetted first by the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax / Commissioner of Income Tax and at the second stage by an Approving Panel headed by a judge of High Court

About GAAR

  • These are a set of provisions which try and check tax avoidance, by aggressively planning for tax breaks. This will act as a deterrent to treaty shopping
  • GAAR would come into implementation from 1st April
  • The provisions of GAAR will override the tax treaties and the officials can deny tax benefits if they arrive at a decision that the transaction was designed with a sole purpose of avoiding taxes

Observations of Parliamentary Standing Committee

  • GAAR gives arbitrary powers to tax authorities to challenge complex deals
  • Onus lies on the taxpayer
  • Created uncertainty and ambiguity amongst investors

Some of the recommendations of Parthasarathi Shome Committee on GAAR

  • No retrospective application
  • Deferred till 2016-17
  • Not applicable on Singapore and Mauritius
  • Not on intra-group transactions

National Entrepreneurship Awards 2016

  • Has been instituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) to foster/encourage culture of entrepreneurship
  • These awards are presented annually (started from 2016)
  • the Ministry has partnered with premier institutes of higher learning across the country, including IIT Delhi, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Mumbai, TISS Mumbai, IIT Chennai, XLRI Jamshedpur and IIT Kanpur, to implement the scheme

The objectives of these awards are

  • will provide models of excellence in the entrepreneurship ecosystem that would inspire the youth (especially first generation entrepreneurs)
  • will give a tremendous encouragement and inspiration to the ecosystem builders in excelling in their commitments

About MoSDE

  • Has been set up in November 2014
  • Responsibilities
    • Co-ordination of all skill development efforts across the country
    • Removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower
    • Building vocational and technical training framework
    • Skill up gradation, building of new skills etc

 

‘Bharat Parv’ – Inaugurated

  • Will be from 26th to 31st of January
  • Is a national festival showcasing the country’s diverse culture, cuisines, handicrafts and catch glimpses of a progressive India
  • The prime objective of organizing the event is to generate a patriotic mood, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country, to ensure wider participation of the general public and to popularise the idea of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
  • The Ministry of Tourism has been designated as the nodal Ministry for the event

 

UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)

  • UIDAI has achieved a landmark by generating 111 crore Aadhaar (out of population of 125 crore)
  • It has covered more that 99% of the total adult population

Aadhaar implementation in phases

  • 1st phase – Was a UID (Unique Identification Programme) with an authentication infrastructure
  • 2nd phase – For public sector delivery reforms by becoming the permanent financial address of the Aadhaar holder, as a tool for de-duplication, e-KYC and direct benefit transfer
  • 3rd phase – Started contributing to the management of the fiscal budget by generating savings to the government exchequer (in two years it has led to savings of over Rs 36k Cr)
  • 4th Phase – It is all set to be a game changer with Aadhaar Pay (a non-traditional digital payment system without a need of card, pin, password or mobile) post the impact of demonetization
  • It has been recognized in the recent UN Report -“World Social Situation, 2016”- as a developmental tool with “tremendous potential to foster inclusion by giving all people, including the poorest and most marginalized, an official identity and a wonderful critical step in enabling fairer access of the people to government benefits and services, thereby enhancing social and economic distributive justice leaving no one behind
  • Aadhaar has empowered by people by increasing convenience and making their life hassle free towards paperless and cashless environment. It has connected the banking institutions with the ordinary people by
    • Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) has made the rural banking easy (119 banks are using this)
    • Aadhaar under eKYC can be used to open the bank accounts (97 banks use this)
    • It is being used for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) or Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB)
    • Aadhaar Pay which is yet to be launched will make making/receiving money much easier

About UIDAI

  • It is a statutory authority established under the provisions of theAadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 or popularly known as Aadhaar Act 2016
  • It will work under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
  • Previously it functioned as an Attached Office
  • UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India

 

National MSME Policy

  • A one man committee was set by the government to formulate a national MSME Policy
  • The government had appointed Dr Prabhat Kumar to formulate the policy
  • This is for the first time that such a policy is being formulated
  • The report has been submitted to the government