Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 24 January 2018

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 24 January 2018

::NATIONAL::

Protectionism rearing its ugly head : PM Narendra Modi

  • Sending out a strong message against protectionism and inward-focused economic policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said such tendencies can be as dangerous as terrorism and climate change as he pitched for creating a “heaven of freedom.”
  • Mr. Modi, is the first Indian Prime Minister to address the World Economic Forum’s annual summit here in two decades, talked about grave concerns facing the world, including terrorism and climate change.
  • The Prime Minister sought to hard sell India as an investment destination, saying those wanting wealth with wellness and peace with prosperity should come to the country.
  • Seen as an apparent reference to policies like America First, especially since U.S. President Donald Trump would be coming to Davos later, Mr. Modi said, “Many countries are becoming inward focused and globalisation is shrinking and such tendencies can’t be considered lesser risk than terrorism or climate change.”
  • Protectionism is rearing its ugly head and there is risk of new tariff and non-tariff barriers coming up.
  • The Prime Minister said, as he mentioned that division is not the solution to this problem of anti-globalisation.
  • Noting that in an interconnected world, globalisation is losing its lustre, he wondered, “Do global organisations created after the Second World War really reflect the aspirations and dreams of mankind today? With respect to the developing countries there is a very big gap.”
  • Asserting that India is proud of its democracy and diversity, he said the country has always contributed to global peace as well as promoted values of integration and unity.

Setup Mahanadi tribunal : SC

  • The Supreme Court directed the Centre to set up a tribunal within a month to resolve the long-standing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of Mahanadi water.
  • A Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao asked the Centre to constitute the tribunal and said that all pending issues can be raised before it.
  • The court, however, refused to grant any stay as sought by Odisha government on the seven pick up weirs across the Mahanadi river, which flows through Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, before pouring into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Odisha government, said there cannot be any negotiation on the issue and the only way the dispute can be resolved is through the constitution of a tribunal.

::INTERNATIONAL::

Make Non-E.U. Members families to visit Britons easy

  • A campaign to ease the route for non-EU family members of British citizens visiting the country gained momentum.
  • Over 60,000 people signed a parliamentary petition calling for the introduction of an automatic approval process.
  • The issue of the treatment of family members of British citizens has become part of a wider public and political debate about the state of Britain’s immigration system, and the impact it has on families and beyond.
  • “Sadly, it’s a problem faced by a lot of Indian families in Britain, and often at the worst occasions such as when there is a family funeral and they are unable to come over,” says Harsev Bains of the Indian Workers Association.
  • The campaign had garnered a lot of support from within the Indian community, (though not instigated by members of it) as many families had been impacted by it at one time or another, he said.
  • The petition on the parliamentary website, which is a means for members of the public to draw attention of Parliament to an issue — and elicit a response from the government.
  • It pointed to instances where close family members such as siblings or parents had been refused a visa to visit, despite never overworking or breaking other conditions of their visitors’ visas in the past, such as by working.
  • “A lot of families are heartbroken because relatives cannot visit,” reads the petition which has attracted over 63,117 signatories.
  • It argues that the only requirement should be that a British relative can sponsor them. “If we can support them there is no reason to reject an application,” it argues.
  • After the number of signatories reached 10,000, the Home Office said it had no plans to change the rules for visitors, and that visas remained an “important part of securing the U.K.’s border” and
  • An automatic process for relatives could lead to discrimination against those who did not have family members but had a valid reason for wishing to visit the country.
  • “Automatically approving visas for a select group of people would mean that important considerations against the Immigration Rules would not be applied consistently and could raise equality concerns.”

Expel Taliban leaders : U.S to Pakistan

  • The United States has asked Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel Taliban leaders who are carrying out terror attacks across the border in Afghanistan, days after the militant group attacked a landmark hotel in Kabul that left 22 people dead.
  • The terse White House statement came after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a major terror attack at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul that killed at least 22 people, including 14 foreigners and eight Afghans.
  • The terse White House statement came after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a major terror attack at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul that killed at least 22 people, including 14 foreigners and eight Afghans.
  • “In Afghanistan, where terrorists attacked a hotel in Kabul, such attacks on civilians only strengthen our resolve to support our Afghan partners,” Ms. Sanders said.
  • “We commend the swift and effective response of the Afghan security forces,” she said.
  • Pakistan is facing mounting pressure from the U.S. to take action against terror groups and dismantle their safe havens.
  • More than 150 people were rescued or managed to escape, including 41 foreigners, reports said.

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::ECONOMY::

India one in top 3 in 25years : Finance Minister Jaitley

  • India will likely be among the top three economies in the world in the next 25 years, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, adding that the country had shown an ability to grow during adversity.
  • “India has moved from the seventh largest to the fifth largest economy,” Mr. Jaitley said, while delivering the valedictory speech at the ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet.
  • “Unquestionably, in the period of 25 years, India would perhaps be one of the three largest economies in the world.
  • India has already demonstrated its capacity to grow during adversity.”
  • “The Prime Minister pointed out that India stands out as an exception,” Mr. Jaitley said.
  • “The confidence of the new India is that it is getting more globally integrated and this opening out in terms of trade and investment has certainly brought not only additional resources but significantly improved upon India’s competitive strengths.”
  • The Finance Minister said countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia were now significantly picking up and opening up to investment.
  • “Therefore, India and the ASEAN represents the aspirational world,” Mr. Jaitley said.
  • This aspirational world houses two billion people and trade has the capacity to give a necessary impetus to the economy.”

U.S Tax cut is a risk to competitiveness

  • Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his fifth and last full-fledged budget presentation before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be under pressure from India Inc. to fulfil his promise of reducing corporate taxes to boost job creation and drive investments.
  • Mr. Jaitley, who had promised to ultimately reduce the corporate tax rate to 25%, is yet to deliver.
  • “Topping the budget wish list of India Inc., is the request to reduce corporate tax by at least 5%,” said Shilip Kumar, President, Henkel India.
  • “Cutting down the corporate tax rates drastically will enable the government to create an environment which will facilitate smooth functioning and growth of businesses.”
  • “In all probability such a move will help boost job creation and drive investments to the country.”
  • EY expects this year may see a reduction in the overall corporate tax rate in line with the suggested roadmap, to maintain India’s competitiveness in the global arena, more specifically in light of the recently announced reduction in U.S. corporate tax rates.
  • “With large economies like Japan and U.S.A. resorting to tax cuts, corporate India would be pressing for tax cuts,” said Abhijeet Biswas, MD & co-founder, 7i Advisors LLP.
  • Echoing similar feelings, Hemant Kanoria, CMD Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd. said, “The finance minister, during an earlier budget presentation, had announced a roadmap for cutting basic rate of corporate tax to 25%. Although this was done for SMEs, an implementation across the board would encourage private investment and boost employment.”
  • In 2017 budget, corporate tax rate of 25% was levied for enterprises with less than Rs. 50 crore turnover.

Reduction in taxes sought by software industry

  • Reeling under the impact of growing protectionism globally, the about $150-billion Indian software industry has sought reduced tax rates, resolution of issues under the GST regime and a comprehensive review of the foreign tax credit provisions to maintain its global competitiveness, among others, in the upcoming Budget.
  • “India was an importer at the time when the Foreign Tax credit law was drafted … The law today needs to be reviewed from the perspective of exporting companies, as the IT sector stands today,” industry body Nasscom has said in its recommendation to the Finance Ministry.
  • It pointed out that to ensure ease of doing business; there was a need to reduce the rate for tax deducted at sourceon all software payments.
  • In 2016, TDS was reduced to from 10% to 2 % for payments made to call centres.
  • The industry body added that Income tax rate rationalisation promised by the Government, in view of phasing out of tax incentives has yet to happen.
  • The challenges for the IT sector arise because a single IT service contract may have multiple locations from where or to which an intangible output may be delivered — be it domestic or exports.
  • Compliance with GST norms could involve raising of separate invoices at each location from where the service is provided, it said.
  • It said even where a single invoice is raised, it gives rise to inter-branch or location billing.
  • Further, such services need to be valued and GST discharged thereon, resulting in blockage of working capital.
  • Nasscom pointed out that long-term capital gains from sale of unlisted shares in the hands of non-residents attracts 10% tax whereas it attracts 20% in the hands of residents.
  • Noting that angel investors come in at the earliest stage of the company with the highest risk, the industry body said imposing angel tax on start-ups has a direct impact on them as it taxes investment they have received from domestic investor.
  • As per Section 56(2)(viib) of the I-T act, the valuation of start-ups that have no revenues or profits is based on the potential and promise of the idea, the background and competence of the founding team, and is usually a matter of negotiation between founders and angel investors.

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