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May 30th Current Affairs

International Issues

Infrastructure major GVK got environment clearance from the Queensland govt in Australia for its USD 10 bn (about Rs 55,000 crore) Alpha Coal and rail project in Galilee Basin.

The clearance is a major achievement for the company and its Alpha Project which is considered to be one of the biggest coal projects in Australia

Pakistan on successfully carried out a test of its quick reaction tactical nuclear- capable Hatf-IX missile with a range of 60 km, aimed at "deterring evolving threats at shorter range."

National Issues

The government has assured that all Income Tax cases which have been finalized by the 1st of April this year will not be reopened. This was stated by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee after inaugurating a new office of the Income Tax Department named Pratyaksh Kar Bhawan in New Delhi. Mr.Mukherjee said, Central Board of Direct Taxes, CBDT has issued a circular in this regard.

Talking about the issue of transfer pricing and international taxation, Mr. Mukherjee said that a Committee has been constituted to resolve it. The group has held its first meeting on 25th of this month.

On the basis of the advice given by the Committee, a circular has been issued to avoid multi- level tax deducted at source. It was a concern expressed by NASSCOM. The Minister said that it has been taken care of.

Government has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, PM’s Economic Advisory Council. The Committee will submit its recommendations by 31.08.2012 with the following terms of reference:-

i) Review of the existing PSCs, including in respect of the current profit-sharing mechanism with the Pre-Tax Investment Multiple (PTIM) as the base parameter and recommend necessary modification for the future PSCs;

ii) Exploring various contract models with a view to minimize monitoring of expenditure of the contractor without compromising, firstly, on the hydrocarbons output across time and, secondly, on the Government’s take.

iii) A suitable mechanism for managing the contract implementation of PSCs which is being handled at present by the representation of Regulator/Government nominee appointed to the Management Committee;

iv) Suitable governmental mechanisms to monitor and to audit Government of India (GOI) share of profit petroleum;

v) Structure and elements of the Guidelines for determining the basis or formula for the price of domestically produced gas, and for monitoring actual price fixation; and

vi) Any other issues relating to PSCs.

The Centre has agreed for a 35000 crore rupee debt restructuring package for the textile sector. Following his meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last evening, the Textiles Minister Anand Sharma announced that the Government has agreed that there is a need to support the Textiles industry in this time of crisis.

The Textiles Minister said that the total outstanding debt of textiles sector is Rs. 155,809 crores of which debt of Rs. 35000 crores needs restructuring. He said, Government directions to banks to consider this on priority would be issued in this regard.

Textiles Minister Anand Sharma said that there was agreement with the Ministry of Finance that the debt restructuring package would be considered on a case to case basis by Individual Banks.

The Finance ministry would examine in consultation with Reserve Bank of India for a 2 year moratorium on term loans, special provision in NPA norms to avoid asset reclassification and working capital eroded to be converted into working capital term loans repayable over a period of 3-5 years. 

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil ushered in the next phase of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s green sustainability initiative, Roshni Prachodaya Society (“Roshni”) by joining with grassroots vision movement India @75 to unveil a new logo for the environmental initiative.

The winning logo was chosen by President Patil from 3,276 entries submitted by school children across India. After a deliberative jury process, the logo design of Robin Singh of Class 9 from Kendriya Vidyalaya Border Security Force (BSF) School at Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir was announced as the winning entry. 

A special encouragement prize was also announced in which the design of Vibhu Prakash from Class 4 of Air Force School, Panchavati, Delhi Cantt. was selected. The announcements marked the culmination of an outreach programme facilitated by India@75, a grassroots initiative for realizing the dream of an inclusive, sustainable and developed India by 2022. 

Robin Singh’s logo shows a combination of a house and tree. Explaining his design, he said the hut signifies the use of eco friendly equipments in the house. The tree on the other hand signifies its role in the improvement of the environment and also the necessity to plant trees. 

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari released a set of volumes on “The Role of Muslims in the Indian Freedom Struggle, 1857-1947” brought out by Institute of Objective Studies (IOS). 

Shri Ansari said that the foreign domination persuaded Hindus and Muslims to fight jointly against it and a sense of brotherhood and togetherness gave them success in attaining freedom. The unity gave them strength. 

All the five States participating in Pilot Centrally-Sponsored Scheme “Pradhan Mantrai Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)”, viz., Assam, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh have confirmed preparation of Village Development Plans for the villages covered under the Scheme. The centrally sponsored scheme called “Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gramin Yojana(PMAGY)” was approved in the year 2010 by the Government of India on pilot basis for integrated development of 1000 Scheduled Castes majority villages in five State- Assam(100 villages), Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu(225 villages each).

The Scheme has, in effect, been functional for about two years in Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, and for a little over a year in Himachal Pradesh. Bihar, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have reported having initiated the works under the “gap-filling” component of the Scheme. However, the pilot Scheme has a time-frame of three years and can be evaluated only thereafter. Its extension would depend on successful implementation of the pilot phase.

The Planning Commission has given investment clearance for the scheme Mahi Right Bank Canal, Gujarat (New ERM). The project is estimated to cost Rs. 300.01 crore at 2009 Price Level.

The project shall be completed by the financial year 2014-15 and Plan accounts would be closed by 31st March 2015. Project may accordingly be executed as per the approved outlays in the State Annual Plan. The State Finance Department would restrict the expenditure to the approved cost and no additional expenditure beyond approved cost may be permitted.

Economic Issues

The govt has said it has cleared 25 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including that of AIF III of Mauritius and Mumbai based Microqual Techno, worth Rs 2,973.40 crore.


Indian Grand Master Viswanatan Anand has retained the World Chess title for the fifth time. He beat Boris Gelfand of Israel after second round of tie breaker game in Moscow. Anand has held the title since 2007.

Viswanathan Anand and Gelfand had earlier played 28 times in rapid chess with Anand winning eight, losing one and drawing 19.

In blitz, they have played seven games with three wins for Anand and four draw games.


Air Marshal DC Kumaria, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, the most vital Operational Command of the IAF, would assume charge as the new Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) at Air Headquarters on 01 Jun 2012. 



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