Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the two-day Annual Conference of Senior Tax Administrators of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) & Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) on 16th of at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Mr. Modi is expected to motivate the revenue officers towards achieving high standards in taxpayer friendly service in view of fast-paced changes in the world economy and he is also likely to address some of the challenges faced by these departments.
It is for the First time that two Revenue Boards are holding the conference simultaneously.
The Annual Conference has been given the brand name "Annual Conference of Tax Administrators”. It will also be address by the Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha. The conference provides a platform to assess the performance of the year gone by and to deliberate on emerging issues without any hierarchical barriers. 251 officers of the rank of Principal Chief Commissioners, Chief Commissioners and Principal Commissioners from CBDT and 170 from CBEC are expected to participate in the conference.
The USA Women’s Senior National Team on 12 June 2016 won gold at the FINA Women Water Polo World League Super Final. The team defeated Spain 13-9 in the championship match in Shanghai, China.
The victory marks the United States’ third straight FINA World League Super Final title and 10th overall.On the other hand, Australia defeated China 11-3 for the bronze medal.
FINA Water Polo World League : The FINA Water Polo World League is an international water polo league organized by FINA, which plays annually. League play features continental tournaments for men and women, from which the top teams emerge to play in the Super Final where the league champion team is crowned.Men's league play began in 2002 to capitalize on increased worldwide popularity of water polo created by the 2000 Olympic Games.The women’s league was added in 2004, based on growing interest in women's play.
FINA : International Swimming Federation (FINA) is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for administering international competition in Aquatics. It was founded on 19 July 1908 at the end of the 1908 Summer Olympics by the Belgian, British, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian and Swedish Swimming Federations. It is one of several international federations which administer a given sport/discipline for the IOC and/or international community. It is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
FINA currently oversees competition in five aquatics sports: swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and open water swimming.
Donald Carr, the former captain of England Cricket team, died on 12 June 2016. He was 89.
Beside prominent batsman Carr was also one of the most prominent administrators of the post-war era.
Donald Carr : His first-class career spanned from 1945 to 1968 in which he scored nearly 20000 runs and claimed 328 wickets with his left-arm spin for Oxford University, Derbyshire and England.He captained England at Madras in 1951-52 in his second and final appearance.In 1945, he played in the third victory test against England.
He retired from cricket in 1986.He captained Derbyshire between 1955 and 1962.In 1960, he was named as Wisden Cricketer of the Year.From 1962 to 1974, he was assistant secretary of MCC.
In from 1974 to 1986, he served as the secretary of the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) and the Cricket Council.
In mark of respect to Carr, the MCC flag over the Main Ground at Lords during match between England and Sri Lanka as well as at the Cross Arrows flag over the Nursery Ground will be at half-mast.
The report titled The Rise of Environmental Crime was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL on 4 June 2016. The report revealed that environmental crime grew up by 26 per cent larger than previous estimates of 2014.Environmental crime is the world's fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
INTERPOL and UNEP have joined forces to bring awareness in the world about the environmental crime.
The crime includes the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud.
Highlights : The report finds that weak laws and poorly funded security forces are enabling international criminal networks and armed rebels to profit from a trade that fuels conflicts, devastates ecosystems and is threatening species with extinction.The vast sums of money generated from the environmental crimes keep sophisticated international criminal gangs in business, and fuel insecurity around the world.
The report recommends the world to come together to take strong national and international action to combat environmental crime. It includes measures targeted at disrupting overseas tax havens; an increase in financial support commensurate with the serious threat that environmental crime poses to sustainable development; and economic incentives and alternative livelihoods for those at the bottom of the environmental crime chain. The last decade has seen environmental crime rise by at least 5-7 per cent per year. This gives an impression that environmental crime is growing two to three times faster than global GDP. The report also looks at how money generated from the illegal exploitation of natural resources funds rebel groups, terrorist networks and international criminal cartels.
The report notes that transnational organized criminal networks are using environmental crime to launder drug money.The report looks at the rise of white collar environmental crime, from the use of shell companies in tax havens to launder money generated from illegal logging to transfer mispricing, hacking and identity theft.
Gujarat coast having about 800 households with a population of 6,000 was lit up on Saturday after the Gujarat Chief Minister, Anandiben Patel, inaugurated the sub-sea marine cable power supply project in Arabian sea off Pipavav Port in Amreli District.
The 6.4-km-long under-sea marine cable set up by the state discom, Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL), will supply 24X7 electricity for this isolated village.The village’s main economic activity is fishing, while the availability of electricity is likely to open new avenues other commercial activity at the bet.
Villagers, most of them fishermen, till now were dependent on kerosene oil lamps or battery-run lights. Patel became the first chief minister of the State to visit the island since Independence. The technical aspect to lay down the sub-sea electricity cable was challenging.
There is only one joint in the entire cable, which is specially designed to suit the salinity and other geographic factors under the sea.The total project cost was ₹18.5 crore, which was completed in two years.
Dr M Beena, has been appointed Managing Director of the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, a statutory body of the Kerala Government.
Dr Beena is currently the Managing Director of KSIDC (Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation) and KSIE (Kerala State Industrial Enterprises).
She has also served as the Managing Director of the Roads & Bridges Development Corporation, Vyttila Mobility Hub, Kerala Books & Publications Ltd and Food & Civil Supplies Department, Civil Supplies Corporation of Kerala besides serving as Collector of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts in 2006 and 2008.
Tata Power has acquired the renewable energy (RE) subsidiary of Delhi-based Welspun Energy. It is estimated to be a Rs 9,900-crore deal.
Tata Power’s subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL), signed a share purchase agreement with Welspun Energy to acquire Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt Ltd (WREPL).
The portfolio Tata has bought comprises 990 Mw of solar power projects and about 150 Mw of wind power projects. Of this, 1,000 Mw is operational and the rest in “advanced stages of execution.
The assets of Welspun Energy have been on the block for a year; this newspaper had reported last year about companies being interested in buying. Japan’s SoftBank, on these, dropped out, as did Hero Future Energies and ReNew Power, said senior executives.After the new purhase, TPREL would have an RE portfolio of 2,300 Mw, making it the largest such in this segment, in India. It had till now 294 Mw of capacity; another 500 Mw of assets were being carved out of Tata Power through a court process. And, almost 400 Mw of solar and wind power projects are under implementation.
It had got institutional funding from across the globe for some key projects. General Electric made its first Indian solar energy investment in the company, funding $24 million at a Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh-based 151 Mw project. The Asian Development Bank also made its first equity infusion in India as part of a $50-mn commitment into the company.
The markets regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has put in place a stricter KYC (Know Your Customer) norms and disclosure regime for Participatory Notes (P-Notes). P-Notes are offshore/overseas derivative instruments (ODIs) issued by registered foreign institutional investors (FII) to overseas investors. They provide easier and cost-effective route to foreign investors to invest in Indian markets without directly registering as Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs).
The aim of SEBI’s stricter KYC, disclosure norms is to make it tougher to use these offshore instruments that do not disclose the money-trail and details of their users. Under the new norms, all the users of P-Notes would have to follow Indian KYC and Anti Money Laundering (ALM) Regulations, irrespective of their jurisdictions. Henceforth, P-Note issuers will be required to file suspicious transaction reports with the Indian Financial Intelligence Unit. ODI holders have to report monthly reports on ODIs all the intermediate transfers during the month. Besides, ODI issuers have to carry out reconfirmation of the ODI positions on a semi-annual basis.
The measure was issued after taking into account suggestions from Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money to ensure this route is not used for money laundering. In recent times ODIs have often been in controversy in India for alleged misuse for round-tripping of funds. But since the SEBI made stringent norms in the recent years, they have also become less attractive. Earlier in 2007, ODIs used to account for as high as 55% of the total foreign fund flows in Indian capital markets, now their share has fallen to a record low level of 9.3%.
Distinguished journalist, editor and author Inder Malhotra passed away following a long illness in New Delhi. He was 86. He had served as a resident editor of The Times of India and The Statesman. In his journalistic career he had mapped the ebb and flow of the Indian politics under every Prime Minister of independent India.
Inder Malhotra : Malhotra was the resident editor of The Statesman in New Delhi from 1965 to 1971. He was the India correspondent for The Guardian, a British daily from 1965 to 1978. Later he became editor at The Times of India and was in office from 1978 to 1986. Since 1986, he was a syndicated columnist for numerous dailies and periodicals in India and abroad.
Books : In 1991, he authored Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, a political and personal biography of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Awards and Honours : Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award (2013).
Norway in the first week of June 2016 became the first country to prohibit deforestation.
On 26 May 2016, the Norwegian Parliament had pledged to make government’s public procurement policy deforestation-free. The step was taken after a committee of MPs recommended imposing regulations to ensure the state did not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.
The step taken by the government means that the parliament will no longer award government contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests.
Norwegian lawmakers also committed to find a way to source essential products such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber so that they leave little to no impact on their ecosystems. Norway had pledged to do that at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Germany and the United Kingdom.A natural rainforest emits and absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide.
They are referred to as lungs of Earth.
They help to stabilize Earth’s climate. Scientists believe carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. By absorbing carbon dioxide, rainforests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change. They are an important home to about half of the species of plants and wildlife on the planet. Many of the species found in rainforests are endangered and can only survive in rainforests.They help maintain the water cycle by producing large amounts of rainfall every year.
Why are rainforests disappearing : Tropical and temperate rainforests have been subjected to heavy logging and agricultural clearance throughout the 20th century.Biologists have estimated that large numbers of species are being driven to extinction due to the removal of habitat with destruction of the rainforests. Another factor causing the loss of rainforest is expanding urban areas.
Almost 90% of West Africa's rainforest has been destroyed.Since the arrival of humans, Madagascar has lost two thirds of its original rainforest.
Several countries, notably Brazil, have declared their deforestation a national emergency. As per a 2007 report from WWF, deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60% of the Amazon Rainforest by 2030.
Second International Albinism Awareness Day was observed on 13 June 2016. The day is observed to recognize the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of albinism in order to fight against global discrimination and stigma against persons with albinism.
Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited difference present at birth.In almost all types of albinism, both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on, even if they do not have albinism themselves.The condition is found in both sexes regardless of ethnicity and in all countries of the world.
Albinism results in a lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light. As a result, almost all people with albinism are visually impaired and are prone to developing skin cancer. There is no cure for the absence of melanin that is central to albinism.
Myths associated with Albinism : People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide.Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion.This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination. In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world.
United Nations resolution on Albinism : On 18 December 2014, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming, with effect from 13 June 2015, as International Albinism Awareness Day.
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism. Moreover, in response to the call from civil society organizations advocating considering persons with albinism as a specific group with particular needs that require special attention, on 26 March 2015, the Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
Apart from this, the United Nations in its 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in which it pledges to leave no one behind also includes people with albinism. On this second International Albinism Awareness Day, it also appointed the first Independent Expert on the human rights of people with albinism.
Maharashtra Government appointed taskforce headed by agriculture expert Kishore Tiwari, on 12 June 2016 submitted its report to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The taskforce appointed to address agrarian issues has suggested afive-point agenda to bring at least 80 percent of farmers into the institutional credit net.
It suggested direct collectors of 14 suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada region to start a crop loan helpline. It suggested setting up village and taluka-level crop loan committees comprising of ground staff and sarpanch which will prepare a list of hardships being faced by credit-starved farmers.It said, tehsildars, block development officers, taluka agriculture officers and other government and bank officers along with the local MLA should be a part of the committee.
They should be empowered to take corrective action so that a smooth crop loan disbursement is done.
All banks should put big flex boards requesting farmers to come for fresh crop loans, and contact numbers of all senior bank officials, the district collector and the VNSSM chairman should be displayed prominently. It suggested that the banks which do not comply with government norms of disbursing loans should be sent notice for criminal action and list of such banks should be sent to RBI for further action.It said that district collector should appoint a nodal officer for each bank branch who would be required to provide a daily update of crop loan disbursement.
Earlier, Tiwari highlighted the agrarian distress in Vidarbha aggressively through his organisation Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) from Pandharkawda in Yavatmal district.
Noted playwright and actor Achyut Lahkar, doyen of Assam’s mobile theatre movement, passed away on 12 June 2016 following a protracted illness. He was 85.
Lahkar was the pioneering dramatist, veteran actor director and producer who staged numerous memorable plays in mobile theatre.
Achyut Lahkar : Born in 1931, Lahkar, a theatre enthusiast from his childhood days.He founded Nataraj Theatre, the first Mobile Theatre Company of Assam in 1963 which performed across Assam and in other states for nearly 40 years.Lahkar was considered to be the father of the Bhramyaman or Mobile Theatre of Assam.Before venturing into mobile theatre, Lahkar published and edited an Assamese illustrated magazine called Deepawali for some time in 1952.He was awarded the Kamal Kumari National Award in 1997.He also received the Bhaben Barua Award, Mancha Prabhakar Award and Braja Nath Sarma Award.
India's bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra was nominated for 2016 Teen Choice Awards on 12 June 2016. She got her final nomination in the category of Choice TV Breakout Star.
She was nominated for her role as FBI trainee Alex Parrish in American TV series,Quantico.
Earlier, she also won the Favourite Actress title in a New TV series award at the People’s Choice Awards On 7 January 20162016 for her debut role on an American TV show.
Teen’s Choice award : The Teen Choice Awards is an annual awards show that airs on the Fox television network.The awards are voted by teen viewers who have ages 13 to 19 with-in the 50 states of America.The winners will receive a full size surfboard designed with the graphics of that year's show. It celebrates year’s achievements in the fields of television, music, film, comedy, video games, sports and fashion.The Ceremony of 2016 Teen Choice Awards will be on 31 July 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
China has launched its 23rd satellite it the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on 12 June 2016. The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province will support China’s global navigation and positioning network.
The satellite was taken into orbit by a Long March-3C carrier rocket. It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.
The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is being developed as an alternative to US GPS. The satellite, after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others already in orbit and improve the stability of the system, preparing for BDS to offer global coverage.
Indian ace Saina Nehwal received a huge boost ahead of the Rio Olympics as she clinched her second Australian Open title after defeating China's Sun Yu in a thrilling three-game final of the Super Series badminton tournament .
The 26-year-old from Hyderabad eked out a 11-21 21-14 21-19 over the World No. 12 Sun in a fighting summit clash that lasted an hour and 11 minutes.
London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina, who had beaten two world champions -- Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon (2013) and China's Yihan Wang (2011) in the quarterfinals and semifinals , thus clinched her maiden title of the season and pocketed a cheque of $56,250.
It is Saina's second Australian Open victory, having clinched the title in 2014 as well. It ended a rather long title drought for the celebrated Indian, whose previous title before today was at the India Super Series in New Delhi.
Saina had defeated Sun five times in the last five outings but she faced a tough challenge against the 22-year-old Chinese, who took just 18 minutes to wrap up the opening game at the Sydney Olympic Park.
Saina had become the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the World No.1 on April 2 last year, following her title win at the India Open. She won a silver at the World Championship in August in Jakarta, Indonesia.
She also reached the finals of the China Open Super Series Premier in November but a nagging ankle injury saw her form dip as she missed a series of events before making a comeback at the India Open.
She registered a series of semifinal finishes at the India Open, Malaysia Open, Badminton Asia Championships. She also won a bronze, her second in the Asian Championships. In June, she reached the quarters at the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with MOS Dr Mahesh Sharma on 11 June 2016 presided over a presentation made by DGCA with regard to Passenger Centric Initiatives.
The Ministry is committed to ensure that flying for most Indians becomes a pleasant experience along with the growth of the Airline industry. Accordingly, it proposed certain amendments to the existing Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs)
Category wise proposals in the amendments of CARs :
Category –I: Refund of Air Tickets : The Ministry proposed that the refund process should be completed within 15 working days in case of domestic travel and 30 working days in case of international travel. It also proposed that in case of cancellation of tickets, statutory taxes and user development fee/airport development fee/passenger service fee shall be refunded.The Ministry also proposed in this category that under no circumstances cancellation shall be more than the basic fair.
Category –II: Denied Boarding, flight cancellation and flight delays : The Ministry has proposed that an amount equal to 200 percent of booked one way basic fair plus airline fuel charge subject to maximum of 10000 rupees would be paid to passengers in case airline arranges alternate flight that is to depart after one hour but within 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure.
Category –III : Persons with reduced mobility : Airlines shall develop a procedure for making advance request of stretcher and same should be displayed on airline’s website.Airlines, airport operators, security personnel, customs and immigration shall conduct training programme, as per training module provided by Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for all their personnel engaged in passenger services for sensitization and developing awareness for assisting persons with disability or reduced mobility. Foreign carriers operating to/from India shall refund the tickets in accordance with regulations of their country of origin.
Luggage : The Ministry proposed that the Airline should restrict additional baggage charge 100 rupees per kg With regard to checking baggage charges for the baggage between 15 to 20 kilograms.
The above proposal will be put up on the Union Aviation Ministry’s website for 15 days during which Stakeholders are free to give their suggestions and comments.
After that the Ministry will finalize the proposed amendments and implement them very soon.
The World Day Against Child Labour is being observed annually across world on 12 June to bring awareness against child labour.
Significance of the day : The observance of the day seeks to bring together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
2016 Theme : ‘End child labour in supply chains – It’s everyone’s business.’ The theme focuses on child labour and supply chains. To mark the occasion, many events are being organised across the country and create awareness against child labour. The United Nations states that more than 168 million children are still in child labour. The supply chains that run the risk of child labour range from agriculture to manufacturing, services to construction.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), an UN body had launched World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
Additional Solicitor General of India and former Parliamentarian Satya Pal Jain was appointed as a part-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India. His appointment is in addition to present charge as an Additional Solicitor General of India.
Satya Pal Jain : Satya Pal Jain is a noted constitution lawyer and senior BJP leader. He also had served as the Dean of the Law Faculty of Panjab University and presently is a Member of the Panjab University Senate. He has been a lawyer in various important civil and criminal cases, Presidential election disputes, Liberhan Commission of Enquiry, various election petitions and other important civil and criminal cases. He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) from Chandigarh in 1996 (11th Lok Sabha) and 1998 (12th Lok Sabha).
President Pranab Mukherjee had constituted the 21st Law Commission of India in September 2015. Retired Judge of the Supreme Court Justice B S Chauhan was appointed as its Chairman. Besides, Retired judge of Gujarat High Court Justice Ravi R Tripathi and Bimal N Patel Director, GNLU were nominated members of this Commission.
Law Commission of India (LCI) : The LCI is a non-statutory and non-constitutional body constituted by the Union Government from time to time. The first commission was constituted in 1955 and since then various commissions were re-constituted every three years. It is usually headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or former Chief Justice of a high court. So far, various Law Commissions have submitted 262 reports to make important contribution towards codification and progressive development of laws of the country. The Secretary Department of Legal Affairs and Secretary, Legislature Department of Union Ministry of Law & Justice are ex-officio members of the Commission.
Sikkim became the first state in India to have an open government data portal linked ‘sikkim.data.gov.in’. The portal was launched by Lok Sabha MP, P D Rai and also launched Open Government Data Platform (Sikkim).
The portal has been developed by Government of Sikkim’s Information Technology Department and NIC team from Delhi. The open government data portal facilitates free use, reuse and redistribution of data produced or commissioned by the government or government controlled entities by anyone.
Congress leader and former Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam was elected unopposed as the Speaker of the 14th Puducherry legislative Assembly. Besides, pro-tem Speaker VP Shivakozhuthu was declared elected unopposed as the Deputy Speaker.
V. Vaithilingam had served Chief Minister of the Union Territory twice. For first time he was in office from 1991 to 1996 and for second time again from 2008-2011. He was the second youngest Chief Minister and the first Chief Minister of Puducherry to serve the full five-year term till date.
Earlier in May 2016, Congress-DMK alliance had emerged victorious in 2016 general elections. The alliance had won 17 seats (Congress: 15; DMK:2) in the 30 member Territorial Assembly.