NITI Aayog ties up with US EIA to set up portal on energy data
- National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on 10 August 2016 signed agreement with United States (US) Energy Information Administration (EIA) to set up web portal on energy data.
- Agreement with USAID & UK:
Niti Aayog also signed Statement of Principle (SOP) with US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) of United Kingdom (UK) for collaboration in the area of energy research.
Through this agreement, the Aayog aims to host all the data related to energy sector in the country including oil and gas, coal, solar and thermal energy, much on the lines of the Energy Information Administration of US.
Lok Sabha Passes Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill 2016
- The Lok Sabha on 10 August 2016 passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.
- Demerger of public sector companies: The Bill clarifies that the provisions of demerger will apply in case of demerger of a public sector company and the resultant company is no longer a public sector company. The Companies Act, 1956 allowed companies to demerge (split) into multiple companies. As a result of the demerger, the income, expenses, and profits of the parent company are transferred to the resultant companies. The Income Tax Act, 1961 takes into account these transfers from the parent company for taxation of resultant companies.
- Deduction in respect of employment of new employees: The bill decreases the period of employment of an employee of the businesses which manufacture apparel from 240 days to 150 days. Earlier, the existing Income Tax Act, 1961 allows businesses to obtain a deduction on taxable income to the extent of 30% of the cost of recruiting a new employee. The Act requires that the employee should have been employed for a minimum of 240 days in the previous year.
- Customs Tariff Act, 1975: The Bill proposes to increase the existing customs duty on imports of granite and marble blocks used for certain purposes from 10 percent to 40 percent.
Unit 1 of Kudunkulam Power Plant Dedicated to Nation
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on 10 August 2016 dedicated Unit 1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to the nation.
Union Cabinet approves Maternity Benefit (AMendment) Bill, 2016
- The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament The Bill seeks to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
- The law protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’. The ‘maternity benefit’ includes full paid leave from work to take care for her child.
- This law is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. Proposed amendments Increase Maternity Benefit to 26 weeks from 12 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children. Mandatory 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to ‘Adopting mother’ and ‘Commissioning mother’. Facilitate Work from home for women during the time of her maternity. Mandatory for establishment having 50 or more employees to have Creche.
Union Government constitutes Amitabh Kant committee to review E-Commerce rules
- The Union Government has decided to set up a committee to look at easing the policy regime for e-commerce players, including the rules for foreign direct investment (FDI).
- To Examine various issues in e-commerce sector and making recommendations for further liberalisation of the policy.
- To Look into all issues including FDI norms pertaining to the fast growing e-commerce industry in the country.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and South Africa in the field of Tourism
- To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector.
- Encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders, including hotels and tour operators.
- Establish exchange programmes for cooperation in Human Resource Development. Encourage visits of Tour Operators/Opinion Makers/ Media and tourists from both countries for promotion of two way tourism.
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