Nirmala Sitharaman Current Affairs - 2019

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7 December: GST Stakeholder Feedback Diwas

The central and state authorities organised GST (Goods and Services Tax) Stakeholder Feedback Diwas on 7 December 2019. The aim of organizing this event was to get an on-the-spot response and suggestion to the new system for filing GST Returns to be introduced from next fiscal year. The new return form will be made mandatory from 1 April 2020. The programme was organised on the new system for filing returns across 125 cities to get on-the-spot response and suggestion.

About GST Stakeholder Feedback Diwas

As per Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) about 7,500 trade associations/stakeholders participated in the programme. Besides them a large number of taxpayers, all prominent chambers of commerce and industry, compliance managers and tax practitioners also participated.

The participants were encouraged to upload GST returns (ANX-1 and 2) and give feedback in regard to ease of compliance, deficiencies, improvements and uploading. There was overwhelming response from GST stakeholders and several useful suggestions were received.

The focus was on assessing ease of compliance and uploading of these new returns so that taxpayers as well as traders do not face any difficulty when returns are made legally mandatory.

Background

On November 2019 Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman directed CGST (Centre Goods and Services Tax) and SGST (State Goods and Services Tax) authorities to organise a nationwide interaction with stakeholders in order to get a first-hand feedback on new GST returns that are proposed to be rolled out from next fiscal year (April 2020). The finance minister then on November 16, held a meet with select taxpayers, Chartered Accountants and tax practitioners on the same subject. Later, during first National Conference on GST (held on 25 November), Revenue Secretary had also urged states GST authorities to hold similar stakeholder consultations in their jurisdictions as well as to all GST stakeholders to actively participated in these feedback sessions in their nearest CGST or SGST Office cross the country.

India, Sweden join hands to set up Healthcare Innovation Centre in India

India and Sweden has joined hands to set up a healthcare innovation centre to promote research, broadly in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and help scale-up Indian start-ups in the sector. Later, AIIMS, Delhi; AIIMS, Jodhpur, and Swedish Trade Commissioner’s Office in New Delhi signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to cement cooperation, to set up a healthcare innovation centre. The signing of MoI marks 10 years of India-Sweden health cooperation.

Key Highlights

The announcement about cooperation was made earlier in presence of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  The new cooperation among two AIIMS and Swedish side will be a broad-scoped one and work in areas of cancer and other NCDs, besides innovation.

Over the past decade, the cooperation between India and Sweden has grown in strength. The year 2019 marks Sweden-India Year of Health marking 10 years of India-Sweden cooperation in healthcare. This collaboration is built on quadruple-helix model with active participation of government, private enterprises, civil society and academia.

A ‘coordination cell’ will be set up at Swedish Trade Commissioner’s in New Delhi. It will look at entire ecosystem and will promote innovation broadly in NCDs and other disease areas, besides innovation in technology, processes, data, business models and skilling.

India-Sweden innovation centre collaboration will not only strengthen India’s efforts in finding innovative solutions for ‘affordable and accessible healthcare in India’ but will also strengthen healthcare delivery system by an outcome and result based approach.