Nirmala Sitharaman Current Affairs - 2020

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Angela Merkel tops 2019 Forbes’ List of World’s most-powerful women

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has topped the Forbes’ 2019 edition of 100 World’s Most Powerful Women for the ninth consecutive year. She was joined in top spots by fellow prominent female political leaders. The 65-year-old German leader has made 14 appearances in list’s 16-year history of Forbes magazine which releases a wide-ranging list intended to celebrate 100 most influential females. She was praised for standing up to US President Donald Trump and for allowing over a million Syrian refugees into Germany.

Other Winners:

Every year Forbes’ magazine annually compiles a list of influential women leaders from around the world in politics, business and entertainment.

Top 5: In this year’s list, Angela Merkel was followed by Christine Lagarde, president of European Central Bank (ECB) and has earlier served as MD of International Monetary Fund (IMF). Christine rose to the second spot in the list after standing at number 22 last year on same list. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives, stood at number 3 as the highest-ranking and most powerful female elected official in American political history. Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of European Commission stood at number No. 4 and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors stood at number 5.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, too, found a spot on 2019 Forbes’ list. She was ranked 34, ahead of Queen Elizabeth II, who is at number 40, and Ivanka Trump, who stood at number 42.

Swedish teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg, who was recently named Time’s Person of the Year, stood at 100th spot on 2019 Forbes’ list.

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.