Bills and Acts Current Affairs - 2020

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Finance Bill, 2020 passed in Lok Sabha

On March 23, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman introduced the Finance Bill, 2020. The bill was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha without any discussion.

Key Features of the Bill

The bill provides the financial proposals of the fiscal year 2020-21. With the bill being passes, the proposals made under the Union Budget 2020-21 has come into effect. The GOI proposed to spend Rs 30,42,230 crores of rupees in the financial year 2020-21. This is 12.7% more than the revised estimate of 2019-20.

NRI

Several amendments have been made to the bill. The passed bill withdrew certain features that affected non-resident Indians. It includes NRIs with income more than 15 lakhs from business owned by them in India will fall under tax net. However, their global income is not to be taxed.

The bill has abolished Dividend Distribution Tax. It is the tax imposed by the GoI on Indian Companies based on the dividend paid by them to their investors.

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Lok Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) bill, 2020

The Lok Sabha recently passed Aircraft (Amendment) bill, 2020. The bill was passed through voice vote in the lower house. The amendments are being made to fulfil the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organization.

Highlights

The amendment aims to regulate three regulatory bodies namely Bureau of Civil Aviation (BCA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB). The amendment will make these bodies effective and enhance safety and security of aircraft operations.

The bill when passed as an act will allow the central government to make rules on inspecting aircraft, rules for flying an aircraft and also to measure civil aviation safeguards against unlawful interference.

Penalties

The bill allows central government to cancel licenses, approvals and certificates. It also includes issuing licenses to repair, operate and maintain aircrafts. The bill also proposes that a court that is equivalent or superior to metropolitan magistrate can hear cases under the act.

About the regulatory bodies

The DGCA carries out safety and regulatory functions. The BCAS discharges oversees civil aviation security functions. The AAIB is the body that is responsible for carrying out investigations of air accidents.

What are the current penalties?

The Aircraft Act, 1934 includes penalties such as carrying arms, explosives and other dangerous goods, contravening rules notified under the act and building structures withing aerodrome perimeters.

Why the amendment?

The Civil Aviation Organization conducted an audit in 2015. According to the audit, there was a need to amend the act to recognize and regulate the bodies and empower officers to impose penalties for violating the legal provisions.

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