By: D.K Choudhary
Centre Grants Drought Relief Assistance of Rs. 1782 Crore for Karnataka
i. The Union Government has approved an assistance of Rs. 1782.44 Crore for drought-affected Karnataka on January 5, 2017. The decision was taken during a meeting of the High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
ii. The committee approved the grant after examining the proposal based on the reports of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) which visited the state. The assistance has been approved from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
iii. Besides, the committee also approved a grant of Rs. 209 crore to Uttarakhand which had been hit by floods in 2013, based on the report.
iv. The committee approved the assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in respect of Uttarakhand.
Fourth Assam International Agri-Horti Show Begins in Assam
i. The Fourth Assam International Agri-Horti Show began in Guwahati, Assam on January 6, 2017. The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the
ii. The Four-Day Show would be attended by about 200 organisations from 10 foreign countries. Nearly 600 farmers from Assam will be trained on doubling farmers’ income, more crops per drop and agri-preneurship development. Business meet and discussions are also being organised by the Assam government.
About Assam Agri-Horti Show
♦ The Assam International Agri-Horti Show is the Exposition in Assam for Innovation and Inspiration in Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Floriculture and allied sectors. The Expo proposes to have a Horti and Agri exhibition, seminars, network gatherings, flower parade, farmer meets, and other high profile events.
♦ The Show, initiated in the year 1995, however, went “International” for the first time in 2014 and has seen participation of 15 countries and more than 80 international delegates in the year 2014 and 13 countries in the year 2015 and 12 countries with 200 international delegates in the year 2016.
Japan to Help in Developing Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi Smart Cities
i. Japan’s Ambassador to India Mr.Kenji Hiramatsu, informed about Japan’s intention to help India with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities.
ii. The decision was announced by the Mr.Kenji during a meeting with Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu on January 5, 2017.
iii. Till date many countries have come forward to aid with development of 15 smart cities in India. These include:
1.United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) for Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad
2.United Kingdom for Pune, Amaravati and Indore,
3.France for Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur
4.Germany for Bhubaneswar, Coimbattore and Kochi
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese yen
♦ Prime minister: Shinzō Abe
NDMC Names a Road in Rohini Area of New Delhi After Guru Govind Singh
i. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has dedicated a stretch of road in New Delhi to Guru Govind Singh on January 5, 2017.
ii. The road between Block A and Block B at Sector 15 in Rohini was named after Guru Gobind Singh to commemorate his 350th birth anniversary.
Telangana to Provide Monetary Help of Rs. 1000 to Single Women in State
i. The Telangana Government led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, announced a new scheme on January 6, 2017, to provide financial assistance of Rs. 1000 per month to poor single women in the state.
ii. Making an announcement in the Legislative Assembly, the CM informed that the new scheme will be implemented from April 2017 and necessary funds will be allocated in the upcoming budget.
iii. Single women who are below poverty line constitute two to three lakhs in the state and the government desires to provide assistance to them with an aim to enhance their living standards.
iv. Mr Rao has directed the district collectors to start enrollment of single women and appealed to the beneficiaries to come forward to enroll their names under the scheme.
India and Kazakhstan Signs DTAC Amendment Protocol
India and Kazakhstan signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between the two countries on January 6, 2017 in New Delhi.
♦ The Agreement was originally signed on 9th December, 1996 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
Features of Protocol
i. The Protocol provides internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters. The information received from Kazakhstan for tax purposes can be shared with other law enforcement agencies with authorisation of the competent authority of Kazakhstan and vice versa.
ii .The Protocol has a Limitation of Benefits Article, to provide a main purpose test to prevent misuse of the DTAC and to allow application of domestic law and measures against tax avoidance or evasion.
iii. The Protocol includes specific provisions to facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases.
iv. The Protocol inserts service PE provisions with a threshold and also provides that the profits to be attributed to PE will be determined on the basis of apportionment of total profits of the enterprise.
v. The Protocol replaces existing Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes with a new Article to align it with international standards.
♦ Capital: Astana
♦ Currency: Kazakhstani tenge
♦ President: Nursultan Nazarbayev
2017 Island Tourism Festival Begins in Andaman & Nicobar Island
i. The 2017 Island Tourism Festival began at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on January 6, 2017. The 10-Day Event was inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor of Island, Jagdish Mukhi at the ITF Ground.
ii. The event will experience performances by the cultural troupes from mainland India to help the Islanders renew their cultural ties with mainland. The troupes from both India and Island will also perform in outer Islands apart from South Andaman.
iii. Besides the major attractions of the festivals including food courts, fun games, handicrafts etc. other events would include a performance by International Cultural Group from Khazkhistan, besides, a band of artists from mainland will perform during the festival at North and Middle Andaman and also at Nicobar Group of Islands, besides South Andaman.