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CCEA gives Approval to New Coal Linkage Policy

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction. The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.

Need

Though, the government’s initiatives and prevailing market conditions to a large extent has helped to bring down the prices of the dry fuel and boosted the domestic production, a proper mechanism for providing coal linkages to power plants at competitive rates was lacking. The new policy will address this issue and will ensure proper sourcing of the dry fuel by the power plants as per their schedules.

Coal linkage policy

Coal linkage policy is a policy designated by the union government for the allocation of coal among thermal power plants. Inadequate availability of domestic coal coupled with high price for imported coal requires the government to allocate the available coal rationally among the power plants. This is especially necessary as the coal producing firms are public sector companies. Also, the pricing of coal is an another important issue. In this context, the government designates coal linkage policies to allocate coal among different thermal power plants.

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IT Department Launches Operation Clean Money

Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money to investigate tax evaders. As a part of the operation, the government has launched a website on ‘Operation Clean Money’ operation.

Salient Highlights

The Operation Clean Money’ portal has been designed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Initial phase of the operation involves identification of around 18 lakh persons who have made large deposits or purchases between 9th November to 30th December 2016, which do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.

The provision of online verification of these transactions is aimed at reducing the compliance cost for the taxpayers while optimising the resources of the Income Tax department.

The PAN holders can view the information in the portal. The taxpayers would be allowed to submit online explanation without the need to visiti the Income Tax Office. As a reminder, e-mail and SMS will also be sent to the taxpayers for submission of online response on the portal.

The IT department will make use of the data analytics to select cases for verification. After selection of cases, additional information requested would be communicated electronically. On getting the information, the portal will get dynamically updated. The taxpayers covered under this phase are required to submit their responses within 10 days in order to avoid further notice and enforcement actions under the Income Tax Act.

The response provided by the tax payer would be analyzed against available information with the department. If response found justified, the verification would be closed. The verification will also be closed if the cash deposit has been declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY).

Background

Operation Clean Money was launched immediately after government’s demonetisation drive in order to bring the tax evaders with undeclared incomes under the tax net. The income tax department has so far identified about 1.8 million persons and asked them o explain their deposits, pay tax or disclose past undisclosed income through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

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India’s GDP Growth Forecast for 2017 Revised Downward by UN

In the report titled, World Economic Situation and Prospects, the UN has projected a 7.3% growth for India in 2017. Earlier in the report’s January edition, UN had forecasted a growth of 7.7% for the year. The revised report also has predicted an impressive 7.9% GDP growth for the year 2018 which is an increase from its January estimate of 7.6%.

Salient Highlights

According to the report, despite India’s growth being revised downward, India remains one of the fastest growing developing economy which is ahead of China. China is projected to grow at 6.5% in 2017 and 2018.
The report has observed that despite temporary disruptions caused by the demonetization policy, economic conditions underpinned by sound fiscal and monetary policies remain robust. However, the report has warned that the stressed balance sheets of the Indian banks is likely to have an adverse impact on investment rebound in the country.

World gross product is likely to expand by 2.7% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018. This is an improvement over 2.3% growth experienced in 2016.

The report expects a recovery in world industrial production and global trade backed by rising import demand from East Asia.

The report expects firmer growth in developed economies and economies in transition, especially in East and South Asia which is likely to remain as the world’s most dynamic regions supported by robust domestic demand and supportive macroeconomic policies.

As a way forward, the report calls for renewed global commitments to deepen international policy coordination in key areas such as aligning the multilateral trading system with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; enlarging official development aid; supporting climate finance and clean technology transfer; and addressing the challenges posed by large movements of refugees and migrants etc. 

World Economic Situation and Prospects

World Economic Situation and Prospects is UN/DESA’s flagship report on the state of the global economy. It is a result of the joint work of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the five United Nations regional commissions: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Apart from the above organizations, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) also contributs to the report.

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