Thursday, 26 May 2016

PIB NEWS : (8.5.2016 to 14.5.2016)



1.PM addresses International Convention on Universal Message of Simhastha
·        The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the International Convention on the Universal Message of the Simhastha, at Ninaura near Ujjain. 
·        President Sirisena accompanied the Prime Minister from Indore, and both leaders arrived at the Convention together.

·        Addressing the gathering, which has also been described as a “Vichar Kumbh” on the sidelines of the Kumbh Mela, the Prime Minister described this convention as the birth of a new effort.
·        He said this was a modern edition of what might have happened in ancient times, when thought-leaders of society would gather at the sites of Kumbh melas, to reflect and provide new vision to society.

·        Speaking at length on Indian tradition and culture, he said that the mantra of a ‘Bhikshuk’ is “may good happen to the person who gives me alms, and even to the person who does not.”
·        The Prime Minister gave several other illustrations of the values and humanism which define Indian culture.

·        Referring to the launch of the Simhasth Declaration, which was dedicated to the world by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Prime Minister said this will mark the start of a new discourse not only in India but around the world.

·        The Prime Minister suggested that a ‘Vichar Kumbh’ should be held every year, to discuss issues such as afforestation and education of the girl child. 

2.Exercise Red Flag:

The IAF Team Sets Course Back at the end of a ‘Perfect Flag’ 
Red Flag Alaska 16-1, which was an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska (a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series) held in the Alaska region, concluded on 14 May 16.
The main phase of the exercise had commenced on 28 Apr 16 with a mix of combat and support elements participating from IAF, USAF and USN.

3.Cabinet approves National Intellectual Property Rights Policy 
“Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारतअभिनव भारत


The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy that will lay the future roadmap for intellectual property in India.
The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelise these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.


The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns.  It reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.


The broad contours of the National IPR Policy are as follows:

Vision Statement: An India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.

Mission Statement:

Stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to:
·        foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development, and
·        focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance.

Objectives:

The Policy lays down the following seven objectives:
    1.IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion - To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society.
    2.Generation of IPRs - To stimulate the generation of IPRs.
    3.Legal and Legislative Framework - To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.
    4.Administration and Management - To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.
    5.Commercialization of IPRs - Get value for IPRs through commercialization.
    6.Enforcement and Adjudication - To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.
   7.Human Capital Development - To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.

These objectives are sought to be achieved through detailed action points.
The action by different Ministries/ Departments shall be monitored by DIPP which shall be the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India.

The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy will endeavor for a “Creative India; Innovative India.

4.Earth Day :
·        The Earth Day is celebrated on 22ndApril every year to create awareness among the public regarding issue related to Environment & Conservation of Mother Earth.
·        On the Earth day this year India signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change .
·        The Paris Agreement is meant to enhance the implementation of the Convention and aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. 
·        In this regard, the Government has taken various measures such as introduction of cleaner technologies in thermal power generation, promoting renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, implementation of Green India Mission, programmes related to afforestation and activities aimed at reducing vulnerability to climate change.

5.Climate change 
The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) has implemented following major research activities in respect of climate change on North Pole.

i. Long term monitoring of Kongsfjorden system of Arctic region for climate change studies to study long term variability of physical and biogeochemical parameters of the fjord.

ii. Investigations of atmospheric aerosols and there characterization over the Arctic during summer season to study Arctic haze formation and its impact on ice melt in the region in association with changes in radiative forcing and snow scavenging.

iii. Holocene climate change and sedimentation Pattern in Ny-Ålesund area, Svalbard through studying sediment dynamics and deposition of core samples collected.

iv. Mass balance and dynamics of selected glaciers of Spitsbergen, Svalbard to collect relevant number of snow samples (installed stake/snow pit) and further analyse them for ionic and trace metal concentration. Similarly meltwater will be collected from stream for their analysis of ionic and trace metal concentration.

v. Monitoring of Arctic using Micro Rain Radar and measuring the temperature and humidity profiles using a Microwave Radiometer.

vi. Investigation of dissolved as well as sedimentary forms of Organic matter in the Kongsfjorden for Dissolved as well as Particulate Partitioning of organic Matter Pool through measurement of DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon) and DON (Dissolved Organic Nitrogen). Particulate organic Carbon and Nitrogen (POC and PON) Carbohydrates Monosacharides and Polysacharides.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S.Chowdary in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today. 

6.Conversion of sea water into potable water 
·        The cost of conversion of sea water into potable water depends primarily on the type of technology, capacity of the plant, location and cost of electricity which varies from place to place.
·        According to the cost estimates made in August 2010 by an independent agency for Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) technology, indigenously developed and demonstrated by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an autonomous Institute under Ministry of Earth Sciences, the cost per litre of desalinated potable water is about 61 paise for island based plants.  
·        NIOT has set up one LTTD plant with its own funds at Kavaratti with a cost of about Rs. 5 crores and two plants, one each at Minicoy and Agatti islands with funds from Lakshadweep Administration with a cost Rs. 10.4 crores and Rs. 16.4 crores, respectively.
·        One experimental LTTD plant using condenser waste heat from power plant was set up at North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) with an expenditure of Rs. 4.5 crores by NIOT.

7 .Parliament passes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code :

·        Today is a historical day for economic reforms in India when the Rajya Sabha passed the major economic reform Bill moved by the Government i.e. ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016’.
·        This is considered as the biggest economic reform next only to GST. The Lok Sabha had earlier passed the Bill on 5th May, 2016.

In India, the legal and institutional machinery for dealing with debt default has not been in line with global standards.
·        The recovery action by creditors, either through the Contract Act or through special laws such as the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 and the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, has not had desired outcomes.
·        Similarly, action through the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 and the winding up provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 have neither been able to aid recovery for lenders nor aid restructuring of firms.
·        Laws dealing with individual insolvency, the Presidential Towns insolvency Act, 1909 and the Provincial Insolvency Act. 1920, are almost a century old.
·        This has hampered the confidence of the lender. When lenders are unconfident, debt access for borrowers is diminished.
·        This reflects in the state of the credit markets in India.
·        Secured credit by banks is the largest component of the credit market in India. The corporate bond market is yet to develop.

·        The law aims to consolidate the laws relating to insolvency of companies and limited liability entities (including limited liability partnerships and other entities with limited liability), unlimited liability partnerships and individuals, presently contained in a number of legislations, into a single legislation. Such consolidation will provide for a greater clarity in law and facilitate the application of consistent and coherent provisions to different stakeholders affected by business failure or inability to pay debt.

The salient features of the law are as follows:

i- Clear, coherent and speedy process for early identification of financial distress and resolution of companies and limited liability entities if the underlying business is found to be viable.

ii- Two distinct processes for resolution of individuals, namely- “Fresh Start” and “Insolvency Resolution”.

iii-
Debt Recovery Tribunal and National Company Law Tribunal to act as Adjudicating Authority and deal with the cases related to insolvency, liquidation and bankruptcy process in respect of individuals and unlimited partnership firms and in respect of companies and limited liabilities entities respectively.

iv- Establishment of an
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India to exercise regulatory oversight over insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities.

v- Insolvency professionals would handle the commercial aspects of insolvency resolution process. Insolvency professional agencies will develop professional standards, code of ethics and be first level regulator for insolvency professionals members leading to development of a competitive industry for such professionals.

vi- Information utilities would collect, collate, authenticate and disseminate financial information to be used in insolvency, liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings.

vii- Enabling provisions to deal with cross border insolvency.


·        The essential idea of the new law is that when a firm defaults on its debt, control shifts from the shareholders / promoters to a Committee of Creditors, who have 180 days in which to evaluate proposals from various players about resuscitating the company or taking it into liquidation.
·        When decisions are taken in a time-bound manner, there is a greater chance that the firm can be saved as a going concern, and the productive resources of the economy (the labour and the capital) can be put to the best use.
·        This is in complete departure with the experience under the SICA regime where there were delays leading to destruction of the value of the firm. 
·        The vision of the new law is to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
·        Some business ventures will always fail, but they will be handled rapidly and swiftly.
·        A key innovation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is four pillars of institutional infrastructure. 
·        The first pillar of institutional infrastructure is a class of regulated persons, the ‘Insolvency Professionals’. They would play a key role in the efficient working of the bankruptcy process. They would be regulated by ‘Insolvency Professional Agencies’. 
·        The second pillar of institutional infrastructure is a new industry of `Information Utilities'. These would store facts about lenders and terms of lending in electronic databases. This would eliminate delays and disputes about facts when default does take place. 
·        The third pillar of institutional infrastructure is in adjudication. The NCLT will be the forum where firm insolvency will be heard and DRTs will be the forum where individual insolvencies will be heard.
·        These institutions, along with their Appellate bodies, viz., NCLAT and DRATs will be adequately strengthened so as to achieve world class functioning of the bankruptcy process. 
·        The fourth pillar of institutional infrastructure is a regulator viz., ‘The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India’. This body will have regulatory over-sight over the Insolvency Professional, Insolvency Professional agencies and information utilities. 
·        The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is thus a comprehensive and systemic reform, which will give a quantum leap to the functioning of the credit market. It would take India from among relatively weak insolvency regimes to becoming one of the world's best insolvency regimes.
·        It lays the foundations for the development of the corporate bond market, which would finance the infrastructure projects of the future. The passing of this Code and implementation of the same will give a big boost to ease of doing business in India. 

8.Union Home Minister addresses 4th Ministerial Meeting of SAIEVAC 
            The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh addressed the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC), here today. 
Chairing the meeting Shri Rajnath Singh said that the safety, security, dignity and wellbeing of our children and young people will determine the wellbeing and strength of our countries. 
Following is the text of the Union Home Minister’s address:



9.Literacy Among Muslims 
·        Pursuant to the receipt of Sachar committee Report, it was decided to carry out a mass mobilization campaign in all districts, having a substantial population of Muslims, to generate awareness about the need for literacy and elementary education and to promote vocational education and skill development.
·        A special literacy drive was to be taken up in these districts to improve the overall literacy rate and especially the literacy rate of Muslim women.
·        Saakshar Bharat, a centrally sponsored scheme for adult education and skill development, is being implemented since October, 2006 in the rural areas of 410 districts in 26 States and 1 UT that had adult female literacy of 50% or lower as per Census 2001, and all left wing extremism affected districts irrespective of their literacy rates.
·        The main goal of the programme is to increase the country’s literacy rate to 80% and reduce the gender gap of 10 percentage points.
·        The programme is primarily focused on women, SCs, STs, Muslim minorities and other disadvantaged groups in the rural areas in low literacy States / UTs.
·        The principal target of the Saakshar Bharat programme is to impart functional literacy to 70 million adults in the age-group of 15 years and beyond. 
·        Ministry of Human Resource Development has informed that 30.08% of the total enrolment in minority districts was of Muslim children in 2012-13 which increased to 31.22% in 2013-14.
·        Further, as per Census 2011, the literacy rate among Muslims is 68.5% (Muslim Males- 74.7% and Muslim Females- 62%), which is much higher as compared to the literacy rate of 59.1% among Muslims as per Census 2001.
·        The percentage of recruitment of minorities in Central Government / Public Sector Undertakings was 8.56% in 2014-15 in comparison to 7.89% during 2013-14. Besides, as per Census 2011, the Work Participation Rate (WPR) for the Muslims was 32.6 % (reason for not working by an individual is not collected in the Census) as compared to 31.3 % as per Census 2001.

The Government is already implementing a number of schemes / initiatives for educational empowerment of minorities, including Muslims, so as to ensure their adequate representation in technical and higher educational institutions as well as the Government jobs for the minorities. A list of schemes/initiatives implemented by theMinistry of Minority Affairs and other Central Ministries for educational empowerment of minorities, including Muslims, is-

10. DETAILS OF SCHEMES / INITIATIVES MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENTEMPOWERMENT OF MINORITIES ARE AS UNDER:

1. Pre-Matric Scholarship

2. Post-Matric Scholarship

3.Merit-cum-Means  Scholarship

4.Maulana Azad National Fellowship

5.Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme for providing services through Anganwadi Centres

6.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and opening of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas

7.‘Padho Pardesh'- Interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies

8.‘Nai Udaan'- Support for students clearing Prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, State Public Service Commissions, etc.

9.Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM)

10.Scheme for Infrastructure Development of Minority Institutions (IDMI)

11.Greater Resources for Teaching Urdu

12.Free Coaching and Allied Scheme

13.Schemes of Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) for promotion of education.

14.Mid Day Meal Scheme

15.Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)

16.Sakshar Bharat/ Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Balighan

17.Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)

18.Block Institutes of Teachers Education

19. Women’s Hostel.

20.Educational loans given by the National Minority Development & Finance Commission (NMDFC).

21.Educational loans under Priority Sector Lending.

22.Issue of guidelines for giving special consideration for recruitment of minorities.

23.Educational infrastructures created under Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) in the minority concentration blocks/towns.

24.Nai Manzil- A Scheme to Provide Education and Skill Training to the Youth from Minority Communities (a new scheme).

The salient features of the Sachar Committee, which submitted its Report on 17.11.2006, inter-alia, with respect to educational status and Employment and Economic opportunities of the Muslims in the country are at enlisted
   
Educational status of the Muslims

i.The literacy rate among Muslims was 59.1%, which was below the national average of 64.8%.

ii. The mean years of schooling (MYS) is lower compared to the average MYS for all children.

iii.  25% of Muslim children in the age of 6 — 14 years age group have either never attended school or have dropped out.

iv. The majority of Muslim girls and boys fail in their matriculation examination or drop out before that.

v. Less than 4% of Muslims are graduates or diploma holders compared to about 7% of the population aged 20 years and above.

vi.There is a strong desire and enthusiasm for education among Muslim women and girls across the board.

vii. Schools beyond primary level are few in Muslim localities. Exclusive schools for girls are fewer.

viii. Lack of hostel facilities is a limiting factor, especially for girls.

ix. Muslim parents are not averse to modern or mainstream education and to sending their children to affordable Government schools. They do not necessarily prefer to send children to Madarsas. However, the access to Government schools for Muslim children is limited.

Employment and Economic opportunities of the Muslims

i.     Self-employment is the main source of income of Muslims. They are engaged more in self-employed manufacturing and trade activities compared to others.

ii.    The share of Muslim workers engaged in street vending is the highest. More than 12 per cent of Muslim male workers are engaged in street vending as compared to the national average of less than 8 per cent.

iii.    The percentage of women Muslim workers undertaking work within their own homes is much larger at 70 per cent compared to all workers at 51 per cent.

iv.  The share of Muslims in the total workers engaged in the tobacco and                        textiles/garment related industries are quite significant.

v.    The share of Muslim workers in production related activities and transport equipment operation is much higher at 34%, as against 21% of all workers.

vi.     More than 16 per cent of Muslims were engaged as sales workers, while the national average was only about 10 per cent.

vii.    While the participation of Muslim workers is relatively higher in production and sales related occupations, their participation was relatively lower in professional, technical, clerical and to some extent managerial work.

viii.     Muslims, by and large, are engaged in the unorganized sector of the economy and have to bear the brunt of liberalization.

ix.     The participation of Muslims in regular salaried jobs is much less than workers of other socio-religious categories.

x.        Muslims are relatively more vulnerable in terms of conditions of work as their concentration in informal sector employment is higher and their job conditions, even among regular workers, are less for Muslims than those of other socio-religious communities.

xi.     Percentage of households availing banking facilities is much lower in villages where the share of Muslim population is high.

This Information was given by Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State for Minority affairs, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

11. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said that Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is a flagship skill development scheme of Government of India targeting to cover 24 lakh youth in the country.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today the Minister said, The scheme is being implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
As on 25th April, 2016, a total of 17.58 lakh candidates have been trained and 5.77 lakh have been certified and 81978 placed under PMKVY. 

12.ECO-Tourism Around Freshwater Lakes in India 
          For development of tourism infrastructure in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the Swadesh Darshan scheme - Integrated Development of Theme-Based Tourist Circuits, in 2014-15. Eco Circuit has been identified as one of the thirteen thematic circuits for development under the scheme. The Ministry has sanctioned following projects to various State Governments under Eco Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan scheme:



(Rs. in Crore)
Sl. No.
Name of the Project
Amt. Sanctioned
1.
Integrated Development of Eco-Tourism, Adventure Sports, Associated Tourism related Infrastructure for Development of Tehri Lake & Surroundings as New Destination-District Tehri, Uttarakhand.
80.37
2.
Integrated Development of Eco Tourism Circuit in Mahaboobnagar  district, Telangana.
91.62
3.
Development of Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady  as Eco Tourism Circuit in Idduki and Pathanamthitta Districts in Kerala.
99.22

         

13.High Incidence of Sickle Cell Anaemia 
The prevalence of Sickle Cell Anemia is higher in the tribal belt of Western,Central and Southern Indian States having Schedule V Areas; not so much in the tribes of North-East India including Schedule VI areas.

The sickle cell gene is passed from generation to generation in a pattern of inheritance. Government has decided to screen three crore tribal children across the country to find the severity of incidences of Sickle Cell Anemia among them.
The children with Sickle Cell trait or disease are counselled through their parents not to marry the other carrying trait or disease in order to control spread of the disease to next generation.
The Ministry organized regional training workshops in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to facilitate State/ UTs to train adequate manpower to undertake the screening exercise using a simple and cost effective screening test developed by ICMR.
In addition, Department of Biotechnology is involved in research to find cure of the disease.

A statement showing result of screening process for determining incidences of Sickle Cell Trait / Disease among ST persons in the States having Schedule V areas is given below:-

S. No.
Name of the States having Schedule V areas
Result of Sickle Cell Anemia Screening as on 31.12.2015
No. of persons screened
No. of Cases Detected Positive (Trait / Disease)
1.
Andhra Pradesh
87617
53
2.
Chhattisgarh
172893
21857
3.
Gujarat
8644928
758827
4.
Himachal Pradesh
0
NA
5.
Jharkhand
300
12
6.
Madhya Pradesh
386288
923
7.
Maharashtra
1123475
81060
8.
Odisha
48091
10241
9.
Rajasthan
143
0
10.
Telangana
23392
617
Total
10487127
873590
 NA = Not Available

     This information was given by Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

14.Projects allotted to NGOS 
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has formulated the following schemes for the welfare of STs:-

(a) Grants in aid to Voluntary Organizations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes.

(b) Strengthening Education among Scheduled Tribe Girls in Low Literacy Districts.

(c) Vocational Training in Tribal Areas.

(d) Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

The objective of the schemes, inter-alia, is to encourage development of tribal through voluntary efforts for temporarily filling gaps in areas like health, education, livelihood etc. Ministry of Tribal Affairs had got evaluation of the schemes conducted by an Independent Agency in States of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. The gap-filling intervention thorough these schemes have made positive impact in the life of needy tribals as reported by the independent evaluation study.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today. 



15.The three day historic meeting of SAARC countries ends with a commitment to set up a uniform toll free Helpline for children across the region 
Member countries to cooperate on ICT initiatives to trace missing children, on the lines of Track child and Khoya paya

·        The three day historic meeting of South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) ended in New Delhi today with a stepped up commitment to promote child rights and safety and security of children in the SAARC region.
·        The meeting saw an enthusiastic participation of Ministers and delegates from across the SAARC region. The Union Home Minister, Government of India, Shri Rajnath Singh was the Chief Guest at today’s Ministerial meeting.


16.Exercise Chakravyuh-II Culminates 
          In a follow up to ‘Exercise Shatrujeet’ by the Strike Corps (Strike One) last month, the pivot formations held the fortnight-longmilitary training exercise codenamed “Exercise CHAKRAVYUH-II” which concluded today in the general area of Suratgarh in Rajasthan.

·        The exercise conceptualized by the Pivot Corps involved rapid mobilization and execution of plans in sync with the Air Force in desert terrain and was declared a success. 
·        The exercise validated the battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the RAPID Division along with all its affiliated components.



17.Government takes various steps in last two years to curb the menace of Black Money both within and outside the country.

The present Government has taken various decisions and steps to curb the menace of black money both within and outside the country in last two years. Some of the major decisions and actions taken in this regard are given below:

1.       Sustained steps taken for curbing black money:-

(a)     A new Black Money Act has been enacted with strict penalty provisions.
(b)     Special Investigation Team has been constituted which is chaired by ex-Supreme Court Judge Justice M.B. Shah vide notification dated 29th May, 2014.. Many recommendations of SIT have been implemented since then.
(c)     A new Income Disclosure Scheme is formulated for domestic black money.
(d)     Enhanced enforcement measures have resulted in un-earthing of tax evasion of approximately Rs 50,000 Crore of indirect taxes and undisclosed income of Rs 21,000 Crore (Prov.). The value of goods seized on account of smuggling activities has increased to Rs 3,963 Crore in the last two years (32% increase over corresponding two previous years).
(e)     Prosecution has been launched in 1466 cases as against 1169 cases in the previous two years (25% increase).


2.       Amendments made in Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002, vide Finance Act, 2015 :

·        The definition of proceeds of crime under PMLA has been amended to enable attachment and confiscation of equivalent asset in India where the asset located abroad cannot be forfeited.
·        Section 8(8) has been inserted in PMLA providing for restoring confiscated property or part thereof, on the directions of Special Court to claimants with a legitimate interest in the property, who may have suffered a quantifiable loss as a result of the offences of money laundering.
·         Section 132 of Customs Act which deals with offence relating to false declaration / documents in the transaction of any business relating to Customs has been made predicate offence under PMLA to curb trade based money laundering.

3.    Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 has been amended vide Finance Act, 2015.  The amendments provide for seizure and confiscation of value equivalent, situated in India, in case any person is found to have acquired any foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property, situated outside India, in contravention of Section 4 of FEMA.

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