Japan Current Affairs

CBDT signs 4 more Advance Pricing Agreements

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into four more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs), pertaining to sectors like telecom, banking, manufacturing and education in August 2017.

Out of these four agreements, three were unilateral and one was bilateral. The bilateral APA was for international transactions between an Indian company and UK-based company. With this, total number of APAs entered into by CBDT has reached 175. This includes 162 unilateral APAs and 13 bilateral APAs

Advance Pricing Agreements (APA)

The APA scheme of CBDT aims to provide certainty to taxpayers in domain of transfer pricing by specifying methods of pricing and setting prices of international transactions in advance. The APA provisions were introduced in Income Tax Act in 2012 and `rollback` provision to pull out was introduced in 2014.

The APA scheme’s objective is to strengthen government`s resolve of fostering non-adversarial tax regime. Moreover, Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in fair and transparent manner.

It endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in domain of transfer pricing by specifying methods of pricing and setting prices of international transactions in advance. Under BAPA, certainty in tax treatment is provided for next 5 years while rollback provides dispute redressal for maximum of four past years preceding APA years.

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Moss serves as a cheap pollution monitor: Scientists

According to Japanese scientists, delicate mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used as low-cost bioindicator to monitor urban pollution and to measure the impact of atmospheric change.

As a bioindicator, mosses respond to pollution or drought-stress by changing its shape, density or disappearing.  This characteristic will allow scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations and air pollution.

Key Facts

Mosses are a common flowerless plant found in all cities especially in damp (humid) or shady locations. It generally absorb water and nutrients from their immediate environments, so it can reflect changes to ecosystems. So it can be used as potential bioindicators.

In the study, Japanese researchers studied the effect of nitrogen pollution, air quality and drought-stress on moss. They found that drought-stress tends to occur in mosses found in areas with high levels of nitrogen pollution, which has negative impact on health and biodiversity. It can be cost effective and important for getting information about atmospheric conditions especially effect of nitrogen pollution and air quality in urban area.

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