India Current Affairs - 2020

Akhilesh Ranjan appointed as Convenor of Task Force drafting New Direct Tax Legislation

Union Finance Ministry has appointed Akhilesh Ranjan, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) member as Convenor of Task Force that is drafting New Direct Tax Legislation (Law). He will replace Arbind Modi who retired in September 2018. The other members (composition) of the Task Force remain unchanged. Akhilesh Ranjan is presently serving as Member (Legislation) of CBDT.

Key Facts

The task force was constituted in November 2017 in order to review Income-tax Act, 1961 and to draft new direct tax law in consonance with the economic needs of the country. At that time, Arbind Modi, who was then Member (Legislation) of CBDT was appointed as Convener of task force.

The task force has been mandated to draft appropriate Direct Tax Legislation keeping in view direct tax system prevalent in various countries, international best practices and economic needs of the country. It will submit its report to Government by February 28, 2019. It has set its own procedures for regulating its work.

First-ever India Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue held at St. Petersburg

The first-ever India Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue was held at St. Petersburg in Russia. Indian side was led by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Russian delegation headed by Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.

Key Facts

The two-day forum provided participants platform to discuss development of bilateral ties in trade, investment, technology and industry. It was aimed to bring together key business figures from both countries. Transport, agriculture and agro-processing, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), digital transformation and frontier technologies and industrial cooperation were some of the key areas of focus of the forum.

 Indo-Russian Strategic Economic Dialogue

It was created by PM Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in their informal summit (held at Sochi in May 2018) to give big push to economic partnership between both countries that has started to gain momentum since 2017. It aims to focus on macro picture of economic partnership and also explore partnership and joint ventures in services and IT sectors. It seeks to put in place mechanism for partnership between resource-rich Russian regions and Indian states. In effort to boost bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025, both countries have agreed to give high priority to removal of obstacles to trade in order to improve upon 21.5% growth in two-way trade recorded last year. India has already launched Strategic Economic Dialogue with China.