➽ The Union Textiles Minister, Smriti Zubin Irani launched the scheme in Bhiwandi, Thane district, Maharashtra. The scheme will especially benefit small powerloom weavers. The Government has launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for power loom sector development, simultaneously at over 45 locations in the country.
Note: The Minister and CMs interacted with various states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and others through video conference, as PowerTex India scheme was launched nationwide.
➽ A tax evasion of over five crore rupees under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be non-bailable offense. The union government has set a target date of 1st of July for roll-out of the GST, which will subsume central excise, service tax, VAT, and other local levies.
Note: Cognizable offense means a serious category of offenses in respect of which a police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court.
➽ Income Tax department-related proceedings between the taxpayer and the tax man from the new fiscal will be conducted online. This is a part of its initiative to minimize human interface between the assesse and the Assessing Officer (AO) thereby reducing complaints of harassment and corruption.
Note: A new link or window called ‘e-proceeding’ will soon be introduced on the e-filing website of the department, which is used by taxpayers to file their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) at present.
➽ For financial year 2017-18, Asian Development Bank has projected India’s growth forecast at 7.4%. ADB expects the growth rate to improve to 7.6% in 2018. India reflected a growth rate of 7.1% for 2016-17.
➽ The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the BHIM-Aadhaar service which enabled every Indian citizen to pay digitally just with their thumb impression, in Nagpur (Maharashtra). Referral Bonus and Cash Back schemes were also unveiled to further incentivize digital transactions. Now, every person they introduce to the BHIM app, will get a cash back of Rs. 10 from ”14th April to 14th October”.
Note: The Aadhaar-linked BHIM mobile app is based on the Unified Payment Interface Developed by National Payments Corporation of India. This will facilitate the process of digital payments by using the Aadhaar number linked to bank account.
➽ According to Commerce and Industry Ministry, India’s exports grew by 27.6% to 29.23 billion dollars in March this year as compared to same period in last year. It grew on account of the robust performance by sectors like petroleum, textiles, engineering goods and gems and jewelry.
Note: A huge spike in gold imports pushed the trade deficit to 10.43 billion dollars during the month under review from 4.4 billion dollars a year ago.
➽ Tax evasion of over Rs.5 Crore under the GST regime would be a non-bailable offense and the police would have the authority to make an arrest without a warrant. The Central GST (CGST) Bill provides that if the offenses relating to taxable goods and/ or services where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or the amount of refund wrongly taken exceeds Rs.5 crore, it shall be treated as cognizable and non-bailable.
➽ The IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) has launched a web portal ‘isnp.irda.gov.in’ for insurers that will allow them to register and sell policies online. The portal also open to intermediaries in the insurance business.
Note: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is an autonomous, statutory agency tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
➽ According to the Reserve Bank (RBI), India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by USD 956.4 million to USD 368.998 billion for the week ended April 7 due to fall in foreign currency assets. The Foreign currency assets (FCAs) dipped by USD 951 million to USD 345.367 billion in the reporting week. Gold reserves remained unchanged at USD 19.869 billion. The special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund were down by USD 3.1 million to USD 1.443 billion.
➽ The World Bank has approved a loan of around Rs. 2,421 crores for the ambitious inland waterways project between Haldia (West Bengal) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). The approved loan amount is about 45% of the estimated project cost of Rs. 5,369 crore for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1. The 11,390-kilometre waterway project of the shipping ministry will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1,500-2,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT). NW-1 will have three multi-modal terminals, one each at Varanasi, Sahibganj (Jharkhand), and Haldia.
➽ India’s plan for a sub-regional motor vehicle agreement faced a setback, as the Bhutan government announced that it is not ready to go ahead with the process at present. It asked the other members of the ‘BBIN’ grouping India, Bangladesh and Nepal to continue to operationalise it without Bhutan.
➽ Bengal has announced to develop the country’s largest coal mine in Birbhum district, with the Centre allotting the development rights for the Deocha Pachami coal block to the state under the government route. Bengal will get the largest share of 584 million tonnes of coal from the block, followed by Bihar which has a share of 486 million tonnes.
➽ As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the country saw the fourth highest number of passengers taking off in 2016, up two places from the previous year overtaking UK and Brazil. India had 13.1 crore passengers taking off − including domestic, international and connecting − last year. The top three markets – US, China and Japan remained unchanged but there was a shakeup below with India a part of this upheaval.
➽ West Bengal has announced to an agriculture demonstration centre to be opened in collaboration with China. The centre will showcase methods to grow organic vegetables and how to use machinery to raise efficiency. The centre will get expertise from Shandong province and manpower from Bengal. Shangdong province has the third highest provincial GDP in China and its agricultural exports amount to one-fourth of China’s total agri exports.
➽ The IMF trimmed India’s annual growth forecast by 0.4 percentage points to 7.2% for 2017, citing the impact of demonetization.
➽ Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18 − Series I. Applications for the bonds accepted from April 24, 2017 to April 28, 2017. The Bonds issued on May 12, 2017. The Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognized stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange. Pakistan’s Gwadar port leased to Chinese company for 40 years.
➽ An indigenous digital payment app BHIM has recorded close to 20 million downloads so far. BHIM is a platform designed to make payment through UPI and USSD modes simpler.