Apple Current Affairs - 2020

World Bank and GoI sign Agreement on Climate Resilient Rain-Fed Agriculture

On March 11, 2020, the World Bank, Government of India and Government of Himachal Pradesh signed a loan agreement of 80 million USD to increase agricultural productivity and improve water management practices in Himachal Pradesh.

Highlights

The loan is to be used to implement the project in around 428 Gram Panchayats. The Panchayats are spread over 10 districts in Himachal Pradesh. More than 400,000 small holder farmers, pastoral communities and women are to be benefitted from the project.

The Project will also provide funds to install water monitoring stations. This will help lay foundation for future water budgets and will also ensure better land use.

Why Himachal Pradesh?

Many of the low lands of Himachal Pradesh are lacking water to agriculture. The rainfall of the state has been decreasing year by year. The agricultural production in the snow areas have shifted to higher altitudes to temperature rise in foot hills. This has affected their iconic apple production greatly.

Significance

The loan will help improve pastures, forests and grasslands. It will also make sure that sufficient water is available for sustainable agriculture in the state.

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Gafa Tax: France to levy 3% tax on Internet giants

The French parliament approved a law dubbed as Gafa Tax (an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), the legislation will impose a 3% levy on sales generated in the country by non-tax paying online giants.

Key Highlights

Levying this 3% tax on total annual revenues of largest technology firms providing services to French consumers would make France 1st major economy to impose a tax on internet heavyweights.

Background: At present, digital companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales like France. The Bill was adopted by National Assembly last week has got its final approval from Senate.

Objective: To stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax European Union (EU) countries. At present, companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales such as France.

Applicable on: The tax would be applied only to companies with global revenues in excess of €500 million and revenue of at least €25 million from UK activities.

Implications:

As per France’s Finance Ministry estimations the Gafa tax will raise about €500 million ($566 million) in 2019 but that should increase “quickly.”

The tech industry has warned that it could lead to higher costs for consumers.

It could also affect US multinational companies such as Airbnb and Uber as well as those from China and Europe.

Way ahead: Although France failed to persuade European Union (EU) partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on online giants, but it is pushing for an international deal with member countries of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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