International Current Affairs - 2020

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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BIMSTEC: Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking inaugurated

On February 13, 2020, Union Minister Amit Shah launched the BIMSTEC Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking in New Delhi. The event was organized by the Narcotics Control Bureau. The Conference was attended by other BIMSTEC partners Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Highlights

The main objective of the conference is to control the illicit drug trading plaguing Bay of Bengal states. India has taken lead in organizing the conference.

Significance

The Conference is important because India is currently focusing on Act East Policy and Neighbourhood Policy. The BIMSTEC platform acts as a platform for India to achieve its objectives.

Also, there is need for such conferences and multilateral initiatives as drug trafficking globally has reached 400 billion USD. In the last 10 years, drug addiction has increased by 30%.

India’s Measures

In order to control drug trafficking in the country, India has adopted Zero Tolerance Policy. India has also taken steps at international level. For instance, India is a member of INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization).

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Cabinet Approves amendment of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Sri Lanka

On February 12, 2020 the Union Cabinet approved the protocol to amend the DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) that was signed between India and Sri Lanka. The DTAA with respect to prevention of fiscal evasion is to be amended.

Highlights

Under the amendment, an anti-abuse provision is to be included. Also, the amendment will include Principle Purpose Test. This will help in curbing strategies that exploit gaps in tax rules.

Significance

Both Indian and Sri Lanka are members of major multilateral organizations such as OECD, G20, BEPS. Therefore, it is essential for both the countries to implement standards based on Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty related measures.

Why Principle Purpose Test?

India is a signatory of MLI, whereas Sri Lanka is not. Therefore, it is essential for the countries to insert Principle Purpose Test to meet the minimum standards

What is MLI?

In 2016, around 100 countries signed Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty. The treaty includes features that help to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. This is called Multilateral Instrument or MLI.

If a country has signed MLI along with India, it is not important to include Principle Purpose Test in the DTAA. As Sri Lanka is not a signatory, DTAA has been included.

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