International Current Affairs 2017

Sistema issue: India hopes agreeable solution

In reply to Russia’s comment to take the cancellation of 2G license of Sistema for international arbitration if it is not resolved in Indian courts, India has said that the matter is commercial and all parties are free to take legal recourse that they deem appropriate to meet their commercial goal.

What is the matter over Sistema?

  • Sistema is a Russian telecom company.
  • Incorporated in 1993, Sistema is now one of Russia’s top ten companies by revenues and is one of the largest investment companies in the world.
  • It has a joint venture with and it holds a majorimage stake in Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd. whose 21 out of 22 licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February, 2012 (when SC cancelled 122 licences).


  • Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL), a JV between Russian conglomerate Sistema and India’s Shyam Group.
  • Mobile TeleSystems or simply MTS India is a subsidiary of Russian conglomerate Sistema
  • Russia had previously asserted it will not let Sistema’s USD 3.1 billion investment (in its Indian telecom venture) go waste due to "internal problems" in India.


India, U.K. amend convention on DTAA

India and the U.K. inked a protocol amending the 1993 imagebilateral convention on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion related to taxes on income and capital gains.

Main features of this protocol:

  • Streamlining the partnership and taxation of dividends provisions in both the countries.
  • Provide tax stability to the residents of the two countries.
  • Facilitate mutual economic cooperation besides stimulating flow of investment, technology and services b/w the two nations.
  • Provisions for effective exchange of information b/w the tax authorities of the both sides.
  • Exchange of banking information and supplying of information irrespective of domestic interest.
  • Sharing of information to other agencies with the permission of the supplying state.