India Current Affairs

India re-elected to International Maritime Organisation Council

India was re-elected to Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at an assembly of body at its headquarters in London.

India was elected under category B that represents nations with largest interests in international sea borne trade. It secured second-highest 144 number of votes from member-countries, just after Germany’s 146.

IMO Council

The IMO Council plays crucial role in deciding various important matters within mandate of IMO especially in relation to global shipping industry and its work strategy and budget. India has been one of earliest members of IMO, having ratified its convention and joined it as a member-state in 1959. India has been elected to the Council of the IMO ever since it started functioning, except for a two-year hiatus during 1983-1984.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. It was established in 1948 in Geneva and came into force in 1959. Its headquarters are in London, United Kingdom. IMO has 171 member states and 3 associate members. India was one of earliest members of the IMO

IMO’s functions are to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit. This framework should address various areas like safety, legal matters, environmental concerns, technical co-operation, maritime security and efficiency of shipping.

IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly. IMO Council consists of 40 member countries who are elected by IMO Assembly. It plays a crucial role in deciding various matters related to global shipping industry.

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CBDT signs two Advance Pricing Agreements

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 2 Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) in November 2017. These two agreements are first ever Bilateral APAs with Netherlands.

These two APAs pertain to Electronics and Technology sectors of economy. It also covers international transactions that include Distribution, Provision of Business Support Services, Provision of Marketing Support Services etc.

With this, the total number of APAs entered into by CBDT has gone up to 186. This includes 171 Unilateral APAs and 15 Bilateral APAs.

Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)

The APA Scheme was introduced by Government in 2012 to give tax certainty to MNCs that agree on certain principles in valuation of their cross-border transactions. They also provide assessees with alternate dispute resolution mechanism with respect to transfer pricing. It also helps in determining arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for maximum period of five future years. The rollback provision to pull out of it was introduced in 2014. The progress of APA scheme strengthens the government’s resolve of fostering a non-adversarial tax regime.

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