Govt made it mandatory to provide Aadhaar to open a bank account
The government, through a notification amending a prevention of money laundering law, has made it mandatory to provide Aadhaar to open a bank account and to conduct a transaction of Rs. 50,000 or more.
The notification amending the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, although dated June 1, was not gazetted.
The amendment also tightens the rules for small accounts, which can be opened without having officially valid KYC documents, by saying that such accounts can only be opened at bank branches that have core banking solutions.
The small account shall be opened only at core banking solution-linked banking company branches or in a branch where it is possible to manually monitor and ensure that foreign remittances are not credited to a small account.
That the stipulated limits on monthly and annual aggregate of transactions and balance in such accounts are not breached, before a transaction is allowed to take place.
The Supreme Court had on June 9 ruled that while those possessing an Aadhaar ID must link it to their PAN, those who have as yet not got an Aadhaar need not do so in order to file returns — their PAN cards will not be rendered void, something the government had said would happen in the Finance Bill 2017.
WHO categorised India as a site of active transmission of the Zika virus
Taking note of the WHO categorising India last month as a site of active transmission of the Zika virus, the United States sent out an advisory, informing its citizens in India about the number of confirmed Zika infections in India.
The WHO, it noted, placed India as a ‘Category-2’ country for Zika risk.
A Category-2, the second highest on a four-point scale and that also includes 2015 Zika-hotspot Brazil, indicates that the virus is being actively transmitted within the country. Until April, India was a Category-4 country.
The advisory clarified that the U.S. itself did not see its citizens in India at greater risk for contracting the mosquito-borne infection than from March 2017. It, however, maintains that pregnant women ought not to be travelling to the country.
In March, there was no public confirmation of the presence of Zika in India.
On 26 May, two days after the WHO re-classification, the Union Health Ministry confirmed that three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika were reported from Ahmedabad between November 2016 and February 2017.
ISRO is preparing to launch a back-up for IRNSS-1A
In an attempt to keep India’s regional navigation satellite system fully operational, the ISRO is preparing to launch a back-up for IRNSS-1A, one of the seven satellites in the constellation, that has been hobbled by the failure of the atomic clocks on board.
The PSLV C39 mission, scheduled for late July or early August, will carry the new satellite named IRNSS-1H into orbit.
Replacing IRNSS-1A became a priority for the ISRO after it was confirmed in January this year that all the three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning.
The space agency had decided on launching one of the two spare satellites after initial efforts to restart the clocks failed.
IRNSS-1A is the first of the seven satellites comprising the Navigation Indian Constellation (NavIC), a multi-purpose satellite-based positioning system, envisaged as India’s alternative to the American GPS.
NavIC has been designed to support vehicle tracking, fleet management, disaster management and mapping services besides terrestrial, marine and aerial navigation for India and its neighbourhood.
The system became operational in 2016 after the seventh satellite in the series was placed in orbit.
Switzerland ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India
Switzerland ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India and 40 other jurisdictions to facilitate immediate sharing of details on suspected black money even as it sought strict adherence to confidentiality and data security.
Adopting the dispatch on introduction of the AEOI, a global convention for automatic information exchange on tax matters, the Swiss Federal Council said the implementation was planned for 2018, and the first set of data should be exchanged in 2019.
The Council, the top governing body of the European nation, will soon notify the Indian government about the exact date from which the automatic exchange would begin.
As per the draft notification approved by the Council in its meeting, the decision is not subject to any referendum — which means there should be no further procedural delay in its implementation.
The issue of black money has been a matter of big debate in India, and Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for the illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by Indians.
Second-warmest May in 137 years of modern record-keeping
Last month was the second-warmest May in 137 years of modern record-keeping of average global temperatures, NASA said.
The two top May temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years. 2016 was the hottest on record, at 0.93 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean temperature.
Also, it was 0.88 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean May temperature from 1951-1980.This May’s temperature was 0.05 degrees Celsius cooler than last year.
::Business and Economy::
Centre will soon introduce a slew of policies for digital Economy
The Centre will soon introduce a slew of policies, including a revamped one on electronics manufacturing and a data protection policy, to achieve the aim of making India a trillion dollar digital economy.
“The participants were unanimous that one trillion dollar digital is an understatement and India has the potential of reaching two-three trillion dollar digital economy,” Mr. Prasad said.
The minister added that the idea of setting up special innovative zones for start-ups was discussed and a framework for start-up cluster policy will be developed.
The industry also highlighted the need for setting up a dispute resolution mechanism and liberal regulatory norms.
The government expects digital economy to grow to more than $1 trillion by 2025 from current about $413 billion, with maximum contribution from IT/ITeS sector ($350 billion) and electronics sector ($300 billion).
IBBI has notified norms for fast-tracking insolvency resolution process
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has notified norms for fast-tracking insolvency resolution process for specified category of corporate debtors.
This will include small companies, start-ups (other than partnership firms), or unlisted companies with total assets — as reported in the financial statement of the immediately preceding financial year — not exceeding Rs. 1 crore.
However, it added that the adjudicating authority may, if satisfied, extend the period of 90 days by a further period of up to 45 days for completion of the process.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified the relevant sections of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 pertaining to the Fast Track Process, the statement said.
India was ranked 136th out of 190 countries in the indicator ‘resolving insolvency’ in the last edition of the World Bank’s (ease of) Doing Business Report.
In a bid to improve this ranking, the government had carried out the reform of bringing in the IBC and the new elements of the Indian corporate insolvency ecosystem.
About 67 cases have been filed across 11 NCLT benches and some of them involve large defaults (above Rs. 10 billion).
Rise in collection of income tax
Net income tax collection till June 15 grew at a healthy 26.2% to Rs. 1,01,024 crore from across the country from Rs. 80,075 crore in the year-ago period.
Among the metros, the Mumbai zone registered the highest revenue collection growth during the period with a growth of a whopping 138% at Rs. 22,884 crore from Rs. 9,614 crore a year ago.
The Mumbai zone contributes over one-third of nationwide direct tax collections.
The New Delhi zone, which is the second largest contributor to the national kitty, registered a 38% growth at Rs. 11,582 crore during the period, from Rs. 8,334 crore a year ago.