Insights Daily Current Events, 19 July 2016
Paper 3 Topic: money-laundering and its prevention.
High-value transactions under scanner
The CBDT is looking into about nine lakh pieces of information of high-value transactions and planning to send preliminary notices to the suspected cases. Out of the total nine lakh pieces, one lakh cases valued over Rs 1 crore are under the department’s scanner.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
- It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
- It provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for administration of the direct tax laws through Income Tax Department.
- It is also India’s official Financial Action Task Force unit.
- The CBDT Chairman and Members of CBDT are selected from Indian Revenue Service (IRS) whose members constitute the top management of Income Tax Department.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
SC stands by Lodha panel report to revamp cricket
The Supreme Court has upheld almost all the recommendations of the R.M. Lodha Committee to overhaul the cricket administration at the end of a long hearing spanning over two years during which BCCI and State associations fought tooth-and-nail to protect their turf. The apex court found no reason to interfere with the recommendations.
- The apex court approved most of the recommendations and has given a time period of six months to BCCI to implement all the changes.
Major recommendations upheld by the SC:
- Ministers and IAS officers are disqualified from being a member of the BCCI.
- CAG nominee will be in BCCI and office bearers in BCCI should not be beyond the age of 70 years.
- ‘One state, one vote’ concept has also been upheld. States like Maharashtra and Gujarat having more than one cricket association will have voting rights on rotational basis.
- There should be a player’s association in the BCCI.
- One person should hold one post in cricket administration to avoid any conflict of interest.
- It is left to the Parliament to decide whether BCCI functioning can be brought under RTI as recommended by Lodha Panel.
- Parliament will decide recommendation of Lodha panel for legalising betting in cricket.
The committee headed by justice (retd) RM Lodha was appointed by the apex court last year in the wake of a sport-fixing scandal in IPL, the biggest crisis to hit the cash-rich sports body in the country.
- Ever since the sweeping reforms were proposed, BCCI have raised objections to several recommendations including: advertisements between overs during a match broadcast, ‘one state, one vote’, the presence of two members from IPL franchises on the league’s governing council, the formation of an apex council, and a cap on the tenure of the office bearers.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Kerala House adopts resolution against merger of SBT with SBI
A substantive motion moved by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, asking the Union government and the RBI to desist from merging the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) with the State Bank of India (SBI), was recently adopted by the Assembly.
- SBT was formed way back in 1946 and was the succour of the Kerala government as a huge majority of its transactions was done through the bank.
- The majority union of SBT has already expressed deep concern in the move by the State Bank of India for the acquisition of its five associate banks including SBT.
Why merger is being opposed?
It is feared that if the merger took place, the SBI could lose sight of its welfare-oriented lending policies and become corporatised.
The Union Cabinet, in June 2016, approved the merger of State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, and its associate banks. The merged entity will have an asset base of about Rs.37 lakh crore, with nearly 24,000 branches and about 58,700 ATMs across the country as of March 2016. Associate banks to be merged are- State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signs seven Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into seven Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers. Some of these agreements also have a “Rollback” provision in them.
- The APAs signed pertain to various sectors of the economy like banking, Information Technology and Automotives. The international transactions covered in these agreements include software development Services, IT enabled Services (BPOs), Engineering Design Services and Administrative & Business Support Services.
- With these signings, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 77. This includes 3 bilateral APAs and 74 Unilateral APAs. In the current financial year, a total of 13 Unilateral APAs have been entered into so far.
The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the “Rollback” provisions were introduced in 2014.
- The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance.
- Since its inception, the APA scheme has attracted tremendous interest and that has resulted in more than 700 applications having been filed in just four years.
What is an advance pricing agreement?
An APA, usually for multiple years, is signed between a taxpayer and the tax authority (CBDT) on an appropriate transfer pricing methodology for determining the price and ensuing taxes on intra-group overseas transactions.
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Centre releases ₹100 cr for Atal Pension Yojana
The Centre has released nearly ₹100 crore as its share of contribution for members of the Atal Pension Yojana. The fund has been released through the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
- The scheme has over 30 lakh subscribers and the Finance Ministry estimates that about 5,000 new subscribers are added every day.
Atal Pension Yojna (APY):
Under the APY, subscribers would receive a fixed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on the age of joining the APY.
- The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years, that is, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, to those who join the NPS before 31st December, 2015 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not Income Tax payers.
- The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The benefit of fixed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government.
Facts for Prelims:
- Koti Lingala, the shrine of Shiva, as well as the first capital city of the Satavahana dynasty said to date back to 271 BCE, located on the shores of the Godavari, is on the verge of submergence with the backwaters of the Sripada Yellampalli project lapping at the temple shrine. Sripada Yellampalli project is an irrigation project located at Yellampalli Village in Karimnagar district – Adilabad district in Telangana. The beginning of the Satavahana rule is dated variously from 271 BCE to 30 BCE. Satavahanas dominated the Deccan region from the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century CE. The dynasty reached its zenith under the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni and his successor Vasisthiputra Pulamavi.
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Road Transport Offices (RTO) in Delhi to de-register all diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old and directed it to share data of the vehicles that will be de-registered. The police in turn are to take appropriate steps to implement the directions of the green court. These measures were being brought in to ensure that air quality improves as schemes run by the state government, including odd-even, weren’t enough. On April 7, 2015, the NGT had ordered a ban on diesel vehicles over 10 years old. The order was challenged, but the NGT dismissed the appeal.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has clarified that the Delhi CM does not have the powers to sign on suspension orders of any Delhi government official. According to the rules, the Delhi government does not have power to suspend any All India Services officer. Also, a Chief Minister cannot issue suspension orders on his own. It is the prerogative of the Home Ministry.