September 2019

Daily Current Affairs (27-09-19)

DIVIDEND DISTRIBUTION TAX (DDT)

Related Topics: Direct Tax Code (DTC), Foreign Direct Investment

News

The task force on direct tax code (DTC) has recommended abolishing dividend distribution tax (DDT) with a view to promote investment.

About DDT

  • The dividend distribution tax is a surrogate tax and it hinders foreign direct investment inflows.
  • Dividends paid by a domestic company are subject to dividend distribution tax at 15 per cent of the aggregate dividend declared, distributed or paid.
  • The effective rate is 20.35 per cent, including a 12 per cent surcharge and a 3 per cent education cess.
  • According to sources, there is hardly any revenue loss by removing dividend distribution tax, since it will be offset by the taxes paid by shareholders.

Recommendations of Taskforce

  • The task force on the new Direct Tax Code, which seeks to replace the existing Income Tax Act, submitted its report last month.
  • The task force has suggested providing relief to the middle class by slashing personal income tax rates.
  • The panel suggested strengthening compliance to shore up revenue collections.
  • The government last week taking a leaf out of the report slashed corporate tax.
  • The government slashed corporate tax by almost 10 percentage points in the biggest reduction in 28 years.
  • Base corporate tax for existing companies has been reduced to 22 per cent from the current 30 per cent; and for new manufacturing firms, incorporated after October 1, 2019 and starting operations before March 31, 2023, to 15 per cent from the current 25 per cent.

[Source: Economic Times]

 

RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARD

Related Topics: Awards & Honours, Alternative Nobel

News

  • Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is among four people who have won a Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel.
  • The international jury has selected four Laureates who will each receive 1 million SEK (94,000 EUR).

Recipients of the Award

Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara)

  • She is a human rights defender and received the Award “for her steadfast nonviolent action, despite imprisonment and torture, in pursuit of justice and self-determination for the people of Western Sahara”.
  • Over 30 years of peaceful campaigning for the independence of her homeland have earned Haidar the byname “Sahrawi Gandhi”.

Guo Jianmei (China)

  • She is a lawyer and received the Award “for her pioneering and persistent work in securing women’s rights in China”.
  • She is one of the most distinguished lawyers in the field of women’s rights in China.

Greta Thunberg (Sweden)

  • She is a student climate activist and received the Award “for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts”.
  • She represents the powerful voice of a young generation that will have to bear the consequences of today’s political failure to stop climate change.
  • Her resolve to not put up with the looming climate disaster has inspired millions of peers to also raise their voices and demand immediate climate action.

Davi Kopenawa and Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil)

  • They jointly received the Award “for their courageous determination to protect the forests and biodiversity of the Amazon, and the lands and culture of its indigenous peoples”.
  • Kopenawa is one of the most respected indigenous leaders in Brazil. He has dedicated his life to protecting Yanomami rights, their culture and lands in the Amazon.
  • Kopenawa is co-founder and President of the Hutukara Yanomami Association which is conserving the rainforest and advancing indigenous rights in Brazil.

About Right Livelihood Award

  • The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 by Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull to “honour and support courageous people solving global problems”.
  • It has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize and there are now 174 Laureates from 70 countries.
  • The Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation has Special Consultative Status with UN Economic and Social Council.
[Source: rightlivelihoodaward.org]

 

NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP (NSG) AND INDIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGETS

Related Topics: International Organizations, Renewbale Energy Target

News

  • PM Narendra Modi has pitched for India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) saying that the country faces a challenge in nuclear energy because it is not a member of the group of nuclear supplier countries and faces issue of supply of fuel.
  • China has kept India out of the 48-member NSG, which controls the export of nuclear materials.
  • PM also declined to commit to a reduction in coal usage, which both he said is essential to ensure electricity to millions of its citizens.

About NSG

  • It was created in response to India’s 1974 atomic bomb test that challenged the credibility of laws written to prohibit nuclear proliferation.
  • It is comprised of 48 states that have voluntarily agreed to coordinate their export controls to non-nuclear-weapon states.
  • The NSG governs the transfers of civilian nuclear material and nuclear-related equipment and technology.
  • It aims to prevent nuclear exports for commercial and peaceful purposes from being used to make nuclear weapons.
  • In order to ensure that their nuclear imports are not used to develop weapons, NSG members are expected to forgo nuclear trade with governments that do not subject themselves to confidence-building international measures and inspections.
  • While nations are free to discuss bilateral details with uranium suppliers even if they are out of the NSG, India has struggled to add nuclear generation capacity because of a range of challenges, including developers’ concerns over a liability law and local protests.

Why India is not ready to commit to a reduction in coal usage?

  • India has the world’s third-largest coal reserves
  • Coal helps produce about 72 per cent of the country’s electricity, which the Power Ministry’s draft plan seeks to reduce to 50 per cent by 2030.
  • India needs to use cleaner methods of mining and consuming the fuel.

India’s Renewable Energy Target

  • India had earlier set a target to achieve 175 Gigawatt of renewable energy by 2022.
  • India aims to achieve 450 gigawatts of renewable power capacity in the near future and is ahead of schedule in implementing a more immediate goal of 175 gigawatts capacity from solar, wind and biomass.
  • According to the NewClimate Institute think tank, India would have to play a major role — along with China and the United States (US) — in keeping global warming below the Paris agreement ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius.
  • The three countries combined produce over 50 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions, but are also the largest renewable energy markets.
[Source: The Hindu, Business Standard]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

KALAM CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KCST)

Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence and Central University of Jammu (CUJ) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of Kalam Centre for Science and Technology (KCST) at the university. The main objective of the MoU is to undertake and facilitate multidisciplinary directed basic and applied research and technology development in the identified research verticals namely; Computational System Security and Sensors. The centre will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment leading to increase in research scholars in these areas. The CUJ is a Central Government funded University, established under Central Universities Act 2009, with the vision to contribute knowledge and technology innovation to the country and the world.

SHANTI SWARUPBHATNAGAR PRIZES 2019

Twelve scientists from different institutions across the country have been chosen for the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize for 2019. Shekhar C Mande, the director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), announced the winners on the occasion of CSIR Foundation Day on September 26, 2019. The prize carries a cash component of Rs 5 lakh each. The prize is divided into seven disciplines, namely: (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Chemical Sciences, (3) Biological Sciences, (4) Medical Sciences, (5) Mathematical Sciences, (6) Engineering Sciences and (7) Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Science. Further, each discipline can have multiple winners (maximum 2 individuals). It is awarded annually for outstanding research, both fundamental and applied. It is named after the founder director general of CSIR, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.

RANITIDINE

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd has suspended the distribution and supply of ranitidine hydrochloride products to all markets, including India, as a precautionary measure after regulatory authorities detected a carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in its products. GSK Pharmaceuticals manufactures Ranitidine Hydrochloride IP Tablets 150 mg and 300 mg under its brand Zinetac using API from Saraca Laboratories Ltd and another supplier, SMS Lifesciences India Ltd, for supply to Indian market. On September 13, 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration had issued a safety alert citing the low-level presence of NDMA, a known carcinogen, in ranitidine. Following the flagging of the product by the regulator, the Drug Controller General (India) also asked its state-level counterparts to get manufacturers to test the antacid for the impurity.

 

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