Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Agriculture Sector, Agricultural Finance Policy and Marketing, Industrial Policy
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by PM Modi has accorded its approval for mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for 2019-20.
- Government has retained the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987 as per last year.
- The decision of the Cabinet mandates that 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags.
- The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.
- The decision also mandates that initially 10% of the indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains would be placed through reverse auction on the GeM portal.
- This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.
- The approval will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Other Initiatives for Jute Sector
- Government has been supporting approximately two lakh jute farmers by disseminating improved agronomic practices such as line sowing using seed drills, weed management by using wheel-hoeing and nail-weeders, distribution of quality certified seeds and also providing microbial assisted retting.
- The support was given in order to improve the productivity and quality of raw jute through a carefully designed intervention, called the Jute ICARE.
- These interventions have resulted in enhancing the quality and productivity of raw jute and increasing income of jute farmers by Rs. 10,000 per hectare.
Jute Design Cell
With a view to support diversification of jute sector, the National Jute Board has collaborated with National Institute of Design and a Jute Design Cell was opened at Gandhinagar.
With a view to boost demand in the jute sector, Government of India has imposed Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from 5th January, 2017.
- An e-govt initiative called Jute SMART was launched in December, 2016, providing an integrated platform for procurement of B-Twill sacking by Government agencies.
- It was launched for promoting transparency in jute sector.
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Indian Public Finance, Indian Tax System
Union Cabinet approved the signing of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and protocol between India and Chile for elimination of double taxation.
What is DTAA?
- It is a tax treaty signed between two or more countries.
- Its key objective is that tax-payers in these countries can avoid being taxed twice for the same income.
- It applies in cases where a tax-payer resides in one country and earns income in another.
- DTAAs can either be comprehensive to cover all sources of income or be limited to certain areas such as taxing of income from shipping, air transport, inheritance, etc.
Significance of DTAA
- They are intended to make a country an attractive investment destination by providing relief on dual taxation.
- Such relief is provided by exempting income earned abroad from tax in the resident country or providing credit to the extent taxes have already been paid abroad.
- DTAAs also provide for concessional rates of tax in some cases.
- Favourable tax treatment for capital gains under certain DTAAs (like the one with Mauritius) has encouraged a lot of foreign investment into India.
- Clear allocation of taxing rights between Contracting States through the Agreement will provide tax certainty to investors & businesses of both countries while augmenting the flow of investment through fixing of tax rates in source State on interest, royalties and fees for technical services.
- The Agreement and Protocol implements minimum standards and other recommendations of G-20 OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Technology in Space and Defence, ISRO – its activities and achievements
- India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C47 has launched Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial American nanosatellites into Sun Synchronous orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
- PSLV-C47 was the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).
- This was the 74th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 9th satellite of Cartosat series.
What is Cartosat-3?
- It is a third-generation agile advanced earth observation satellite with high-resolution imaging capability.
- It was developed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and will replace the IRS series.
- It has a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 metres, which helps it conduct satellite imaging with the highest resolution.
- The mission life of the Cartosat-3 is 5 years. It has an overall mass of over 1,600 kilograms.
- It is India’s highest resolution civilian satellite and most advanced earth observation satellite built by the ISRO so far.
- A key feature of the Cartosat is that it helps to detect changes in natural geographical or man-made features.
- Their cameras can `look back and forth’ in an angle to generate continuous spot images.
- One of Cartosat-3’s cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm – this means it can pick up an object of a minimum of that size from a height of around 500 km.
- Currently, WorldView-3, a satellite owned by US company Maxar, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm.
- Cartosat-3 will address the increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover, etc.
- It could be potentially used for weather mapping and cartography.
- It is also likely to have a military use since it provides highest-ever spatial resolution.
- It is an indigenously developed expendable launch vehicle designed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- It comes in the category of medium-lift launchers with a reach up to various orbits, including the Geo Synchronous Transfer Orbit, Lower Earth Orbit, and Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
- It is a third-generation rocket and the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
- It has three variants: PSLV-Core alone (PSLV-CA) without the solid strap-on motors; a PSLV with six solid strap-on boosters; and PSLV-XL, the top model, with six extended solid strap-on boosters.
- The launch capability of the PSLV with these configurations varies from 1,000-1,750 kg.
- The biggest advantage of PSLV is that it is capable of placing multiple payloads into orbit with multi-payload adaptors used in the payload fairing.
FACTS OF THE DAY
EXTENSION OF CHENNAI – BENGALURU INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR (CBIC)
- National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) has accorded approval for extension of Chennai – Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) to Kochi and Coimbatore and inclusion of Integrated Manufacturing Clusters (IMCs) identified in the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- As per approved financial and institutional structure for Industrial Corridors by Government of India, the responsibility of making land available for the project is with the concerned State Government.
CURRENCY SWAP ARRANGEMENT FOR SAARC NATIONS
- Reserve Bank of India revised the framework on currency swap arrangement for SAARC countries till 2022.
- The revision was done with an objective to strengthen financial stability and economic cooperation.
- A currency swap between countries is an agreement to exchange currencies with predetermined terms and conditions.
- Under the framework for 2019-22, the central bank will continue to offer swap arrangement within the overall corpus of $2 billion.
- Based on the terms and conditions of the framework, the RBI would enter into bilateral swap agreements with SAARC central banks, who want to avail swap facility.
- SAARC currency swap facility came into operation on November 15, 2012 with an intention to provide a backstop line of funding for short term foreign exchange liquidity requirements or balance of payment crises till longer term arrangements are made.
EXTENSION OF ACCOMMODATION FOR BATTLE CASUALTIES
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal to extend the period of retention of government accommodation by battle casualties from all the three Services to one year.
- At present, the family of an armed forces personnel killed in action against enemy forces or whilst enemy air attacks are permitted retention of government accommodation for three months.
- Ministry has recommended the extension of the period to boost the morale of the Service personnel.
GURU GHASIDAS NATIONAL PARK
- Chhattisgarh government has decided to declare Guru Ghasidas National Park in the state’s Korea district as a Tiger Reserve.
- The national park lies between two important tiger reserves — Bandhavgarh (Madhya Pradesh) and Palamau (Jharkhand).
- Presently, Chhattisgarh has three tiger reserves — Indravati, Udanti-Sitanadi and Achanakmar.