1. Finance Commission gets presentation from IMF on Resource Mobilization for the Next Five Years
2. “Apna Urea – Sona Ugle” brand of HURL
3. DGTR initiates 34 anti-dumping, 6 safeguard investigations in 2019-20
4. ‘Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology’ in Bengaluru
5. Novel coronavirus outbreak in China
6. Concession Agreement signed for construction of Z-Morh tunnel in J&K
FINANCE COMMISSION GETS PRESENTATION FROM IMF ON RESOURCE MOBILIZATION FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS
• International Monetary Fund (IMF), Fiscal Affairs Department, gave a presentation to the 15th Finance Commission on “resource mobilization over the next five years”
• The discussions were centered around options for improving the tax resources of the general government, with special focus on improving the revenue realization from the GST
• Current collections are significantly below an estimated revenue frontier for the country, arrived at using robust panel data analysis of comparator countries
rationalization of the rate structure as well as improvements in compliance and collection efficiency of GST and other taxes can move India much closer to the frontier
“APNA UREA – SONA UGLE” BRAND OF HURL
• HURL is Joint Venture Company promoted by the three Maharatna Companies i.e. Coal India Limited (CIL), NTPC Limited (NTPC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) as the lead promoters with FCIL and HFCL as other two partners.
• With the objective of making the country self-reliant in Urea, the Governmentapproved in 2016 the revival of three sick Urea plants located at Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni
DGTR INITIATES 34 ANTI-DUMPING, 6 SAFEGUARD INVESTIGATIONS IN 2019-20
• Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) initiated 34 anti-dumping (AD) investigations (both fresh and review), 4 countervailing duty investigations, and 6 safeguard investigations during the period from 01.04.2019 to 31.12.2019.
• Anti-circumvention provision was introduced in Customs Tariff Act, 1975 for Counter-vailing Duty (CVD) investigations
• DGTR has initiated outreach programmes to sensitize stakeholders about the available trade remedy measures.
• Earlier, the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) dealt with anti-dumping and CVD cases, Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) dealt with safeguard measures and DGFT dealt with quantitative restriction (QR) safeguards.
Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR)
• The DGTR brings DGAD, DGS and Safeguards (QR) functions of DGFT into its fold by merging them into one single national entity. DGTR now deals with Anti-dumping, CVD and Safeguard measures
• DGTR functions as an attached office of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is a professionally integrated organisation with multi-spectrum skill sets emanating from officers drawn from different services and specialisations.
‘CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY’ IN BENGALURU
• National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru, Karnataka
• Blockchain technology is upcoming & niche technology and adoption of the same in sectors such as health, finance, agriculture and various other sectors would aid the government in implementing various programmes
• The Centre of Excellence(CoE) has developed Blockchain based Proof of Concepts (PoCs) for select government use cases to understand potential benefits provided by this emerging technology
• Centre of Excellence will facilitate the Government Departments in building proof of concepts for use of Blockchain technology in different dimensions of governance leading to large scale deployment of some such applications.
NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN CHINA
• An infection with a novel coronavirus has been reported from China
• As on 11th January, 2020, 41 confirmed cases have been reported so far, of which one has died.
• The clinical signs and symptoms are mainly fever with a few patients having difficulty in breathing.
• The mode of transmission is unclear as of now. However, so far there is little evidence of significant human-to-human transmission.
CONCESSION AGREEMENT SIGNED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF Z-MORH TUNNEL IN J&K
• 6.5 km long Z-Morh tunnel in J&K
• The project includes construction, operation and maintenance of the tunnel with approaches on NH-1 at Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri Road from 61 km to 89.30 km on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) Annuity basis.