Northeast battles deluge but IMD says monsoon rain declined over three decades
The flood situation in Assam and Meghalaya continued to remain alarming due to ongoing extremely heavy rainfall in the northeastern states. However, India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s study highlighted that monsoon rainfall over northeastern states has been on a decreasing trend in the past three decades, pointing at changing weather patterns due to climate change.
At least 121 people have died in rain-related incidents since April 1 in Assam with over 2.5 million people still reeling under the deluge, according to a report by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). In neighbouring Meghalaya, several parts of the state were cut off last week when incessant rains caused landslides, mudslides and flooding.
Nearly every year these parts of the northeast suffer deluge during monsoon months. However, IMD’s analysis of ‘rainfall variability and changes over different states’ for the period between 1989 and 2018 for Assam suggests that monthly rainfall for all monsoon months between June and September is recording a decreasing trend.
This pattern indicates that localised and episodic extreme rainfall events are increasing over these regions which trigger disasters, but monsoon patterns as such have undergone a significant change in recent decades.
These rivers are in their early stage of maturity and are very active agents of erosion. “The river water collects a tremendous amount of silt and other debris from the hilly terrains and raises the level of the riverbeds,” said IMD Pune in its rainfall variability analysis.
“During the past 15 to 20 years, there has been a very clear and significant decreasing trend in rainfall over northeast India. This is a shift in weather patterns that we are seeing,” said PulakGuhathakurta, head of the climate division in IMD Pune. “Monsoonal weather systems have reduced leading to reduced overall rainfall. Depressions used to form during monsoon months that would bring continuous downpour to this region or usually a trough would form in Bihar and move towards northeast India.
As G7 bashes him, Putin to make 1st foreign trip since Ukraine war
Russian president Vladimir Putin is set to make his first international trips since ordering the invasion of Ukraine on February 24 this year.
Putin will be visiting Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, reported news agency Reuters, citing local media, adding that the Russian president will also meet Indonesian president JokoWidodo for talks in Moscow post the two visits.
Putin is reportedly set to meet Tajik president ImomaliRakhmon - a close Russian ally and the longest-serving ruler of a former Soviet state - in Dushanbe. He will attend a summit of Caspian nations including the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Turkmenistan, Zarubin added.
Further, Putin is also planning to visit the Belarus city of Grodno on June 30 and July 1 to take part in a forum with Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, reported Reuters citing the RIA news agency that had cited the speaker of Russia's upper chamber of parliament Valentina Matviyenko.
Putin's last known trip outside of Russia was a visit to China's Beijing in early February. During his visit, Russia and China had unveiled a ‘no limits’ friendship treaty.
GST Council likely to consider changes in monthly tax payment form
The GST Council in its meeting next week is likely to consider a proposal for making changes in the monthly tax payment form -- GSTR-3B, which would include auto-population of outward supplies from sales return and non-editable tax payment table, officials said.
The move would help curb the menace of fake billing, whereby sellers would show higher sales in GSTR-1 to enable purchasers to claim input tax credit (ITC), but report suppressed sales in GSTR-3B to lower GST liability.
Currently, GSTR-3B of a taxpayer includes auto drafted input tax credit (ITC) statements based on inward and outward B2B supplies and also red flags any mismatch between GSTR-1 and 3B.
As per the changes proposed by the Law Committee of the GST Council, there will be auto-population of values from GTSR-1 into GSTR-3B in specific rows to establish one-to-one correspondence to a large extent between rows of the two return forms, thereby providing clarity to the taxpayer and tax officers.
The change would minimize the requirement of user input in GSTR-3B and ease the GSTR-3B filing process, an official said.
The tax payment table in Form GSTR-3B will be auto-populated from other tables in the form and will be non-editable, as per the amended form recommended by the Law Committee of the Council.
Andy Murray rules out playing in Saudi Arabia
Three-times Grand Slam winner Andy Murray has ruled out any possibility of playing in Saudi Arabia in the future, adding that he had previously turned down an offer to play in the kingdom.
British media reports last week said Saudi Arabia had expressed an interest in hosting a tennis tournament on the WTA Tour.
Professional golf has become caught up in controversy in recent months over the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, which has been feuding with the PGA Tour and drawn criticism from several professional golfers, in part over human rights concerns.
Saudi Arabia has hosted exhibition tennis events, with world number one Daniil Medvedev winning the inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia in 2019, which featured a $3 million prize pot.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had been due to meet in an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia in 2018 but it was called off after Nadal picked up an ankle injury.