Daily Current Events – 07 May 2016


Internationalisation of Rupee:-

Internationalization of Rupee will facilitate greater degree of integration of Indian economy with rest of the world in terms of foreign trade and international capital flows. Key benefits of internationalization of Rupee include savings on foreign exchange transactions for Indian residents, reduced foreign exchange exposure for Indian corporate, reduction in dependence on foreign exchange reserves for balance of payment stability etc.

One of the important drivers for internationalization of a currency is the country’s share in global merchandise and commercial services trade. India’s percentage share in the global trade is still on the lower side and it limits the pricing ability of domestic businesses in Indian Rupee. Moreover, the share of Indian Rupee in the Global foreign exchange market turnover at present is also very low. Internationalization of Indian currency would also require full capital account convertibility.

As a policy, we have followed a gradual and cautious approach in opening up the capital account. The capital account is being progressively liberalized in accordance with the evolving macro-economic conditions and requirements of the Indian industries, individuals and financial sectors. Government has been taking measures to promote the internationalization of the Indian Rupee. Recently, a framework was put in place for issuance of Rupee denominated bonds overseas by Indian corporate.


Levy of Tax on Digital Services

A Committee constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has recommended for the levy of tax on most digital services. The Committee constituted to examine taxation of E-Commerce, has recommended that Equalization Levy may be imposed at a rate of six to eight per cent, on any consideration of more than one lakh rupees received by a non-resident from a resident of India or from a permanent establishment in India for certain specified digital services, including online advertising, any services for online advertising and digital advertising space.

The Finance Bill, 2016 proposes equalization levy at the rate of 6% of the amount of consideration for specified services received or receivable by a non-resident, from a resident in India who carries out business or profession, or from a non-resident having a permanent establishment in India, where the aggregate amount of consideration received in a year exceeds one lakh rupees. The proposed levy will have no direct impact on consumers as it is applicable only to business to business transaction.


Rs.100-cr. fine proposed for wrong India map

The government has proposed a law where wrong depiction of the map of India could land the violators in jail with a maximum term of seven years and fine up to Rs. 100 crore.

Details:

  • The new draft bill, ‘The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016‘, basically aims to regularize critical information on Maps services that affect “the security, sovereignty and integrity” of the country.
  • According to the draft, it will be mandatory to take permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing any geospatial information of India.
  • The draft Bill will ensure that online platforms like Google will have to apply for a licence to run Google Maps or Google Earth in India.
  • Also, no person shall depict, disseminate, publish or distribute any wrong or false topographic information of India including international boundaries through internet platforms or online services or in any electronic or physical form.

Analysis :- 

The amount sounds alarming, but nevertheless , due to lack of this , there has been a violation of it for quite sometime.Pick a textbook of any other country  and India’s map is distorted.Majority of applications too depict distorted map of India including google.To check this it is necessary.One might construe and argue that it may hamper artistic freedom  or freedom of expression or take the garb of innocent mistake, but nevertheless, sovereignty of India is India’s business and anyone who wants to draw a map or depict India through map , has to abide by the Indian circulars for that matter.Sovereignty is gained after hundreds of years and loosing hundreds of lives – a fine of 100 crore seems low if one contemplates the cost we paid for it , And no one should take the sovereignty for granted , intentional or otherwise.Of course there is a debate on the amount in newspapers  – becasue they have to be extra cautious now.If anyone wants to do business in India , it should do as per the rules of  the land – the least of it is not to distort the map of the very country it wants to do business with.After all  we don’t want another Radcliffe and with this fine other can stop being one.


Offshore Tax Evasion

While there are impediments in obtaining information relating to undisclosed assets stashed away abroad, pursuant to various initiatives taken by the Government, the flow of information has improved leading to better enforcement action.
The Government has taken several measures to effectively deal with the issue of black money. Such measures include policy-level initiatives, more effective enforcement action on the ground, putting in place robust legislative and administrative frameworks, systems and processes with due focus on capacity building and integration of information and its mining through increasing use of information technology.
Recent major initiatives of the Government include –
(i) Constitution of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money under Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of two former Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court, (ii) Enactment of a comprehensive new law titled ‘The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015’ to specifically and more effectively deal with the issue of black money stashed away abroad which has come into force w.e.f. 01.07.2015,
(iii) Introduction of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 with a view to, inter alia, enable confiscation of Benami property and provide for prosecution,
(iv) Proactively engaging with foreign governments with a view to facilitate and enhance the exchange of information under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs)/Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs)/Multilateral Conventions,
(v) According high priority to the cases involving black money stashed away abroad for investigation and other follow-up actions including prosecutions in appropriate cases,
(vi) While focusing upon non-intrusive measures, due emphasis on enforcement measures in high impact cases with a view to prosecute the offenders at the earliest for credible deterrence against tax evasion/black money,

(vii) Proactively furthering global efforts to combat tax evasion/black money, inter alia, by joining the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement in respect of Automatic Exchange of Information and having information sharing arrangement with USA under its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

International cooperation in tackling offshore tax evasion and avoidance is achieved, inter alia, through ‘Exchange of Information’ mechanism provided under tax treaties entered into by India with various countries. Presently, India has tax treaties (bilateral or multilateral) with 137 countries/ offshore jurisdictions.

Tax treaties entered into by India with various countries as stated in para above include treaties with no-tax or low-tax offshore jurisdictions. India and United States of America have committed to tackling offshore tax evasion and avoidance through mutual collaboration, including joint tax audits and tax examination abroad. Besides, India has proactively contributed to furthering the global efforts to combat tax evasion/black money, inter alia, by joining the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement in respect of Common Reporting Standard (CRS) on Automatic Exchange of Information. Over 90 jurisdictions, including several no-tax or low-tax offshore jurisdictions, have expressed their commitment for putting in place the CRS.


Infant feeding

There is no WHO report on Infant Feeding. However, the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) is adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO) tool and developed by International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Asia for assessing and monitoring the state of implementation of the Global strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding in 100 countries.

The 4th assessment of WBTi for India, carried out in 2015, mentions lack of monitoring and evaluation of the Infant & Young Child Feeding components in government health and nutrition programme.

Early breastfeeding is monitored through Mother and Child tracking systems and Health Management Information System.

Following efforts are being undertaken to monitor and successfully implement Infant & Young Child feeding practices, apart from mentioned above:

i. National Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding, 2006, have been issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, to emphasise appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices. The Ministry of Health & FW has also released guidelines on Enhancing optimal Infant & young child feeding practices in 2013.

ii. Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH) counsellor is provided at high case load delivery points for counselling and support to lactating mothers on breastfeeding.

iii. Incentive is provided to ASHA under the Home Based New-born Care programme for promotion of IYCF through home visits, upto 42 days after birth. Extended visits for low birth weight babies and babies discharged from Special New-born Care Units (SNCU) upto two years of age are also carried out to ensure IYCF practices as part of package of services.

iv. Counselling and support for IYCF is provided at each contact point such as immunization, weighing etc.

v. IYCF training is provided to frontline workers and Staff Nurses for capacity building.

vi. Infant Milk Substitutes Feeding Bottles, and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1993, as amended 2003, has been enacted in the country to protect and promote breastfeeding and ensure proper use of infant foods.

vii. Recently, the National Steering Committee on Infant and Young Child Feeding and National Coordination Committee on Infant and Young Child Feeding have been notified to give policy guidelines, coordinate and integrate all activities relating to breastfeeding and IYCF and advise on measures to promote breastfeeding.

viii. The restructured ICDS Mission also aims to increase Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in the country. Under the Care and Nutrition Counselling component, focus is to provide counselling to women on issues relating to infant feeding practices. Under the Mission, there is also provision of an additional Anganwadi Worker in 200 High Burden Districts of the country for imparting counseling and behavior change communication through community and home visits as well as demonstration of appropriate feeding practices.

ix. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), is a centrally sponsored Conditional Maternity Benefit scheme for pregnant and lactating women, aims to improve nutritional and health status of pregnant and lactating women across the country by partly compensating for their wage loss. The scheme encourages women to follow optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding practices including early and exclusive breast feeding for the first six months. The scheme is now operational in 53 selected districts across the country.

x. “World Breastfeeding Week” is celebrated every year from 1-7 August by organizing various activities such as State level Workshop/ Seminar, lecture-cum-practical demonstration, etc. for creating greater awareness. Awareness is also generated through audio-visual medium for promotion of optimal IYCF. IYCF promotion activities are also carried out under the Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) implemented during last week of July and first month of August.


Few Facts :-

  1. In the last three years, only disease to be eradicated from India was Polio, in 2014. It was noted that there has been recurrence of existing diseases and emergence of new diseases like Drug Resistance Tuberculosis, Leprosy, Influenza A (H1N1), Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) and Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD).
  2. Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD). It is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and an apex micro-finance organization. The main objective of setting up of RMK was to provide micro-credit to poor women for various livelihood support and income generating activities at concessional terms in a client-friendly procedure to bring about their socio-economic development. In fact, the quasi-formal delivery mechanism, simple procedure, in-built flexibility and concessional rates of interest are some of the hallmarks of the credit packages of the RMK.

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By | 2016-05-10T14:14:00+00:00 May 10th, 2016|Daily Current Events|0 Comments