Daily Current Affairs Digest: April 15, 16, 2017
[no_toc]Daily Current Affairs digest for April 15-16, 2017 with important short notes on current events and newspaper summary.
SEBI or Securities and Exchange Board of India set to block P-note route for NRIs
- The regulator is considering completely barring NRIs from subscribing to Participatory notes to prevent money laundering.
- The rules are being tightened as many variants of P-notes have been issued after the implementation of GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rules) on April 1.
- Investments in P-notes are witnessing a fluctuating trend since demonetisation.
One Group, One Tax likely under GST
- Government is planning to propose one rate for each product group to avoid complexities in tax structure.
- Most economies have single tax rate whereas India has a four-tier tax structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. 18% will be applicable on most products. GST Council is yet to decide which rate will be applicable to which product.
- GST is expected to spur economic growth by 1-2 percentage points as all interstate barriers will be removed thereby boosting efficiency.
India holds back talks with Pakistan’s Water Secretary
- India has moved to put on hold all talks with Pakistan’s water secretary on a World Bank-facilitated initiative. This is because of technical issues on Indus River Hydel projects.
- This has created legal hurdles for Pakistan who is trying to bring Gilgit-Baltistan region under its Constitution for economic corridor.
- The refusal also comes in wake of Pakistani military tribunal’s order to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Pakistan bids to legalise CPEC- Constitutional Status to Gilgit-Baltistan trips on UN Resolution
- Pakistan’s bid to alter status of Gilgit-Baltistan region which falls under PoK is said to face many legal hurdles due to UN resolutions on geographical entity which was earlier part of J&K princely state which acceded to India in 1947.
- GB region has been generally remained undefined in Pakistani constitutions since 1947 and only recently Islamabad has taken the initiative to bring it under the Constitution of CPEC.
President gives his approval for all speeches to be in Hindi
- President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the recommendation of Committee of Parliament on Official Languages for all speeches by the dignitaries to be only in Hindi if they can read and speak the language.
- The decision has come after six years after the committee made 117 recommendations to make Hindi more popular language.
New proposed RBI norms leave M-Wallets companies worried
- Mobile Wallet company executives have expressed concerns about the complete KYC guidelines and wanted deadline to extend its implementation.
- RBI had issued graft guidelines for licence holders of prepaid payment instrument PPI as it could be a negative force for small transactions.
- Currently, these e-wallets and prepaid payments instruments can only hold 20,000 per user with minimum KYC. These PPIs will move full KYC details within 60 days of issue of PPI licence.
New Security Framework for Mobile Payments
- National Payments Corporation of India plans to develop a new security framework for mobile phone-based payments for both banks and mobile wallets. This will be equivalent to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) framework.
- The increasing mobile phone based payments can be a potent point to attract hackers.
- NPCI wants to build new security standards for mobile payments to overcome any major loss of public money.
PM will step in to solve musings on Power Reforms
- NITI Aayog has not been able to gather consensus on Proposed National Energy Policy.
- The primary point of contention is freeing coal from price control, as this will divest the ministry of its power to control coal prices.
- National Energy Policy has proposed comprehensive reforms to free sectors such as coal, electricity and fertilisers from subsidies and price controls, helping to produce more power by making electricity generation projects commercially viable for private companies.
Centre will check Status of of MoUs signed by states
- Central government will soon check status of various MoUs signed by states at some grand investor fairs and ensure that these are taken more seriously and result in concrete investments.
- The motive is to understand various roadblocks faced by the states during execution of the projects.
- The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will be the nodal department to conduct the exercise.
- State officials have stated that shortage of funds and delay in clearances are the major reasons for failure of MoUs from seeing light of the day.
Companies report better CSR Compliance in FY-16
- As per CII Annual CSR Tracker Survey, CSR of companies has considerably improved in India in 2015-16 with companies managing to spend about 92% of their slated CSR expenditure.
- Section 135 of the Companies Act of 2013 requires companies to spend at least 2% of their average net profit for the immediately preceding three financial years on CSR activities.
- 1270 BSE listed companies together spent 8185 Crores for FY16 till December 2016.
North Korean missile launch fails
- North Korea’s failed ballistic missile launch drew no major international reactions. The missile was a medium-range projectile and failed in early few seconds.
Government to allow 100% FDI in Cash and ATM Management companies.
- The Central government has given its nod to allow Cash and ATM management companies to attract 100% foreign direct investment and exempted them from compliance to the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act (PSARA).
- Companies that make devices such as currency authenticators and sorting and currency counting machines will also benefit from this clarification.