BRICS Current Affairs

Cabinet approves MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in respect of tax matters between India and the BRICS countries namely, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa

Decision in this regard was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Key Facts

The MoC aims to promote cooperation amongst BRICS Revenue administrations on common areas of interest in tax matters and capacity building and knowledge sharing. It envisages regular interaction amongst the heads of Revenue administration of BRICS countries to continue discussion on common areas of interest.

It also strive towards convergence of views and meeting of the experts on tax matters to discuss the contemporary issues in areas of international tax. MoC will also accord confidentiality and protection to information exchanged under it.

The MoC will stimulate effective cooperation in tax matters. Moreover, the collective stand of BRICS countries can prove to be beneficial not only to member countries but also to other developing countries in long run in tax matters steered by the G20.

Background

The Heads of Revenue of BRICS countries have been meeting regularly to discuss potential areas of cooperation in tax matters. They are also exchanging their opinions and views based on existing commitment to openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation in tax matters. It was also affirmed in the 2016 Goa Declaration of BRICS.

The BRICS countries also had identified four areas of mutual interest on which understanding and cooperation can be further strengthened. The heads of Revenue of BRICS countries in their meeting held on sidelines of FTA plenary at Beijing, China in May, 2016 also had decided to sign MoC outlining areas of cooperation in tax matters.

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One Million Dollar Fund Established for BRICS Media

The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping has established a one million dollar fund for boosting media cooperation in the five-nation grouping. During the inaugural session of the BRICS Media Forum  held in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency and executive president of the Forum had announced that the Xinhua news agency will invest  one million U.S. dollars for bolstering BRICS media.

Salient Highlights

The BRICS media forum is a joint initiative of Xinhua News Agency, Brazil’s CMA Group, Russia’s Sputnik News Agency and Radio, The Hindu group of publications from India, and South Africa’s Independent Media.

BRICS Media is aimed at promoting six objectives including balanced reporting. It aims to create an alternative media narrative distinct from the media of western nations. The proposal is also aimed at joint development of BRICS digital media, financial information services and promoting people- to-people contacts.

BRICS

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2009. The BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China] idea was first conceived by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs. In 2011, South Africa joined this informal group and BRIC became BRICS.

So far, eight BRICS summits have taken place. The first formal summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries and all five are G-20 members. They are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.

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