Current Affairs – December 2016

Current Affairs December 2016 with Latest Current Affairs for preparation of IAS, UPSC, Banking, IBPS, Railways and other exams. Current Events December 2016 news summary on current events of national and international importance.

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Key announcements of PM Narendra Modi’s new year eve’s speech

Following the tough decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today thanked citizens for undertaking sacrifice to cleanse the economy of black money.

In his address, he announced a number of welfare sops to help the poor, the rural sector, small businesses and other citizens to lighten the burden of demonetization. 

Some of the few announcements are
  • Rural and Urban Housing for poor: PM announced two new housing schemes for the urban poor. Under Pradhan Mantri Aawaz Yojana (PMAY), the poor and middle class in cities will get 4% exemption on interest for home loans up to Rs 9 lakh and 3% exemption for home loans up to Rs 12 lakh.
  • Under PMAY, 33% more houses will be built in villages. Home loans up to Rs 2 lakh will get 3% exemptions for building a new house and also for renovation in villages.
  • Farmers: 3 crore Kisan credit cards will be converted into RuPay cards in coming 3 months. Government will bear 60 days interest on select farm loans.
  • Government will add Rs 20,000 crore more to fund created by NABARD of Rs 21000 crore for giving loans to cooperative banks and societies at low interest rate.
  • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME): To give boost to the small entrepreneurs credit guarantee for small businesses doubled to Rs 2 crore.
  • Banks have been asked to raise cash credit limit for small business to 25% from 20%. Banks also have been asked to increase working capital loans from 20% of turnover to 30% for enterprises that transact digitally.
  • Women and elderly: Pregnant women and lactating women in above 650 rural districts will get Rs 6,000 in bank accounts to meet medical expenses and reduce child, woman mortality.
  • Senior citizens will get guarantee of 8% interest rate on deposits up to Rs 7.5 lakh for 10 years.

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India and Singapore ink 3rd Protocol for amending DTAA

India and Singapore have signed a Third Protocol to amend DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

It was signed in line with India’s treaty policy to prevent double non-taxation, curb revenue loss and check the menace of black money through automatic exchange of information.

Key Facts
  • The Third Protocol amends DTAA to provide for source based taxation of capital gains arising on transfer of shares in a company.
  • It will come into effect from April 1, 2017 to provide for source based taxation of capital gains arising on transfer of shares in a company.
  • It also inserts provisions to facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases. It also enables application of domestic law and measures concerning prevention of tax avoidance or tax evasion.
  • This is a taxpayer friendly measure and is in line with India’s commitments under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to meet minimum standard of providing MAP access in transfer pricing cases.
  • Two year transition period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2019 has been provided during which capital gains on shares will be taxed in source country at half of normal tax rate.

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CSL completes delivery of 20 FPVs to India Coast Guard

The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has delivered ICGS AYUSH, the 20th Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) to the Indian Coast Guard.  With this, CSL has completed construction of 20 FPVs for the Indian Coast Guard.

ICGS Ayush will be operated from the Coast Guard Station at Krishnapatanam. It is last in the series (CSL Yard No BY 520) and was delivered three months ahead of schedule.

Background

Cochin Shipyard Limited was awarded the contract of constructing 20 FPVs in October 2010.  CSL had delivered the first vessel in September 2013 and subsequently delivered vessels at about two months interval. CSL started delivering vessels ahead of schedule from the 13th vessel onwards. These vessels are 50 metre length and 7.6 metre beam. They are small in size compared to the large vessels that CSL had been building.

Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs)

The FPVs will help to secure Indian waters by patrolling within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), coastal patrol. They will be used to carry out anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations and for fisheries protection and monitoring. They will also play a secondary role of providing a communication link and escort coastal convoys in times of hostilities and war.

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