United Kingdom 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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Versius: world’s smallest surgical robot developed by UK scientists

Scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) have developed the world’s smallest surgical robot called Versius. It was developed using low-cost technology used in mobile phones and space industries.

The robot can mimic human arm and can be used to carry out a wide range of surgical procedures. It can be controlled by a surgeon using a console guided by a 3D screen in the operating theatre.

Key Facts

Versius can make series of small incisions that will circumvent the need for traditional open surgery. These include colorectal operations, hernia repairs, as well as prostate, ear, nose and throat surgery. It is much easier to use than existing systems, and requires about a third of the space of current machines.

It works like a human arm and contains technology that detects resistance to make sure the right amount of force is used when the instruments are inside the patient. It can help to reduce complications and pain after surgery and speed up recovery time for patients.

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