Task Force Current Affairs

Government forms task force for speedy implementation Namami Gange

The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted task force for speedy implementation of various ongoing Namami Gange programme.

The task force is expected to have ministers and officials from water resources, urban development, drinking water and sanitation and rural development among others onboard.

Namami Gange programme

Namami Gange programme is an ambitious flagship programme of Union Government aiming at integrating various efforts to clean and protect River Ganga in comprehensive manner. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015.

The programme aims at Ganga rejuvenation by combining the existing ongoing efforts and planning under it to create a concrete action plan for future. It has budgetary outlay of Rs.20,000 crore to accomplish twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga. It will cover 8 states, 47 towns and 12 rivers under project.

The main pillars of programme are sewerage treatment infrastructure, river-front development, river-surface cleaning, bio-diversity, afforestation, public awareness, industrial effluent monitoring and ganga gram. It also seeks to benefit vast population dependent on River Ganaga in terms of job creation, improved livelihoods and health benefits.

Its implementation has been divided into entry-level activities for immediate visible impact, medium-term activities to be implemented within 5 years of time frame and Long-Term Activities to be implemented within 10 years. It also endeavours to deploy best available knowledge and resources international countries that have expertise in river rejuvenation such as Australia, UK, Germany, Finland, Israel etc.

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Government constitutes inter-departmental task force to crack down on benami firms

The Union Government has constituted inter-departmental task force comprising members of various regulatory Ministries and enforcement agencies to crack down on benami firms.

It is first major post-demonetisation move undertaken by Government for unearthing black money from shell companies used for large-scale money laundering and tax evasion.

Key Facts
  • The task force will be headed by Revenue Secretary and Corporate Affairs Secretary to monitor the actions taken by various agencies.
  • The involved agencies will invoke the stringent Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 against the shell companies and freeze their accounts and strike off the names of dormant companies.
  • It will also initiate disciplinary action against professionals abetting the companies and entry operators, who are used to launder unaccounted-for incomes into the banking system for projecting them as white money. 
Background

There are about 15 lakh registered companies in India, but only 6 lakh of them file their annual returns. It has raised suspicion that a large number of these companies are indulging in financial irregularities. During a small sample analysis of such companies conducted by Government has found that Rs.1,238 crore in cash was deposited in these entities during the November-December 2016 period, after demonetisation. It also has been found that 560 beneficiaries have laundered money to the extent of Rs. 3,900 crore with the help of 54 professionals, who have been identified by the Government.

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