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India contributes $100K to UN Tax Fund

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United Nations, June 29 : India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to promote the participation of developing countries in a panel dealing with international cooperation in tax matters.

Ashish Sinha, a First Secretary in India’s Mission to the UN, handed over the cheque for the UN Tax Fund to Shari Spiegel, chief of the Policy Development and Analysis Branch of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Desa) on Tuesday.

“This voluntary contribution will be dedicated towards ensuring greater support for developing country participation in the subcommittee meetings of the UN Tax Committee,” the UN said.

India is the first country to respond to an appeal for contributions made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for sustainable development adopted at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in 2015, according to the UN.

The UN Trust Fund for International Cooperation in Tax Matters, which is generally known as the Tax Fund, supports the activities of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in tax matters.

The committee helps deal with taxation issues involving developed and developing countries.

One of its function is to review and update UN Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries and the Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries, according to the UN.

The Tax Fund contribution is one of the many voluntary donations India makes to the UN in addition to the mandated contribution, which totalled $34.28 million in 2016.

Earlier in June, New Delhi launched the India-UN Development Partnership Fund with an initial contribution of $1 million to help the poorest countries achieve the world organisation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce poverty and raise the quality of life.

In April, India gave $250,000 to UN programmes for helping countries hold elections and develop their electoral systems.

In 2016, New Delhi also gave $500,000 to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), $100,000 for Haiti cholera relief and $250,000 for the General Assembly President’s office.

By Arul Louis

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])

IANS

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Cities

Mundka-Bahadurgarh green line launched: PM Modi urges people to opt for metro

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Delhi Metro DMRC

New Delhi, June 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning inaugurated Delhi Metro’s Green Line service between Mundka to Bahadurgarh. Speaking via video-conferencing, the Prime Minister said that commuters should now get rid of private vehicles and opt for metro rail services

Modi inaugurated the facility through a video-conference facility from the PMO on Sunday. Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar attended the function in Bahadurgarh.

The 11.2-km-long corridor will have seven stations and stretch out from existing Delhi Metro Green Line from Inderlok to Mundka.

“Our priority is to build convenient, comfortable and affordable urban transport systems in our cities,” he said.

With this line, Bahadurgarh has become third Haryana city to have DMRC services. Metro lines were already operational in Gurgaon (Yellow Line) and Faridabad (Violet Line).

“The process of making Metro systems is also linked to cooperative federalism. Wherever Metros are being built in India, the Centre and the respective state Governments are working together,” he added.

The Prime Minister also emphasised on Make in India by suggesting that metro coaches should be built indigenously. “We also want to boost make in India by making coaches of the Metro in India itself. Several nations helped us in the making of the Delhi Metro and other Metros, and now, we are helping other nations by designing coaches for their Metro systems,” he said.

Speaking on Bahadurgarh, the PM said, ” Bahadurgarh is witnessing tremendous economic growth, there are several educational centres there, students from there even travel to Delhi. The Metro will bring convenience to this part, which is considered the gateway to Haryana.”

“There is a direct link between connectivity and development. The Metro will bring more colonies, more people coming to Bahadurgarh. It will also mean more employment opportunities for local people,” he added.

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Mann Ki Baat : Will PM Modi talk about Kashmir

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New Delhi , June 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation through the 45th episode of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme at 11 am today.It will be seen whether Modi will clarify on the latest political development in Jammu and Kashmir after Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir where it was in power with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 2016.

The programme will be broadcasted on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan.
It will also be streamed on the YouTube channels of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, AIR and DD News. And will be simultaneously broadcast on AIR’s website – www.allindiaradio.gov.in.

With the world having celebrated the 4th International Yoga Day on Thursday, it is likely the prime minister will talk about it during his radio address. In a speech in Dehradun, Modi had highlighted the benefits of yoga and said it has become a positive influence in the lives of millions across the world.

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NABARD figures misleading: Gujarat DCCBs collected highest average banned notes among states

According to RTI information secured by Mumbai activist Manoranjan S. Roy, Maharashtra’s 30 DCCBs (out of total 370) secured deposits of Rs 3,985 crore worth of banned notes averaging to Rs 132.83 crore per bank.

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currency notes

Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) The National Bank for Agiculture & Rural Development (NABARD) had said in a statement on Friday that demonetised notes presented to district cooperative central banks (DCCBs) in Maharashtra were higher than those deposited in Gujarat, followed by Kerala. This statement, in essence, may be misleading.

According to RTI information secured by Mumbai activist Manoranjan S. Roy, Maharashtra’s 30 DCCBs (out of total 370) secured deposits of Rs 3,985 crore worth of banned notes averaging to Rs 132.83 crore per bank.

But, neighbouring Gujarat’s 18 DCCBs were way ahead in average terms in securing deposits of old notes worth Rs 3,640 crore — or an average of Rs 202 crore per DCCB.

What is important is the average amount garnered by each DCCB, not the total amount in the state. In average terms, Gujarat tops the list followed by Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India, as per the RTI documents released earlier by NABARD.

Next to Gujarat in the list is Kerala with 13 DCCBs getting deposits of Rs 2,094 crore, averaging to Rs 161 crore per DCCB.

It is followed by Karnataka’s 20 DCCBs which got deposits of Rs 1,849 crore, averaging to Rs 92 crore per DCCB.

Tamil Nadu’s 22 DCCBs collected total deposits of Rs 1,514 crore, averaging to Rs 69 crore per DCCB.

On Thursday, IANS had released a story, based on RTI replies to Roy, on how the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) — which has BJP President Amit Shah as one of its directors — collected the highest amount of Rs 745.59 crore among DCCBs in the country.

This amount was collected within five days after the prime minister announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8, 2016. The DCCBs were banned from depositing or changing old notes after the initial five-day window on fears that black money may be laundered through this route.

On Friday, the NABARD had defended ADCB saying that only 9.37 per cent or 1.6 lakh customers of the bank had deposited the total amount and the average deposit amounted to Rs 46,795 crore.

Roy and others have expressed surprise at why NABARD was acting as “a spokesperson” for the Ahmedabad DCCB. “At this rate, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may be compelled to justify objectionable goings-on in big banks like Punjab National Bank or ICICI Bank. This is not a healthy trend for the country,” Roy said.

The RTI replies to queries by Roy were send by NABARD.

On Saturday, the Congress accused Finance Minister Piyush Goyal of “forcing” NABARD to issue the statement on Friday, which the party alleged was “intended to hide the demonetisation scam perpetrated by the BJP chief”. The party demanded a thorough probe.

On Saturday, BJP ally Shiv Sena came down heavily on the government and sought a probe into how the DCCBs in Gujarat could managed to secure huge deposits within five days after demonetisation.

“How many bank chairmen who gave fraudulent loans have been sent to jail?” it asked adding “how could so much money be deposited in just one (ADCB) bank? This is a serious issue and must be probed in depth,” the Sena said in editorial comments in the party mouthpieces ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’.

While the DCCBs raked in huge amounts of cash, in sharp contrast a majority of the 32 apex state cooperative banks have come across as their poor cousins for the meager deposits of old notes they collected.

The Maharashtra SCB got Rs 1,128.44 crore, Tamil Nadu (Rs 382 crore), Delhi (Rs 375.28 crore), Karnataka (Rs 371.22 crore), Goa (Rs 344.62 crore), Kerala (Rs 349.63 crore), Meghalaya (Rs 335.15 crore), Assam (Rs 301.47 crore) and the apex Gujarat SCB at Rs 110.85 crore (earlier wrongly mentioned as Rs 1.10 crore), according to the NABARD figures.

(Quaid Najmi can be reached at [email protected])

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