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US-North Korea military conflict can jeopardise China’s superpower goals

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The entire United States is now well within the range of Hwasong-14  intercontinental ballistic missile of North Korea and Kim’s action has upset the calculations of  all the major powers in the Northeast Asia thus giving rise to arms race  and threat to security.

 

The  missile was launched under the supervision of Kim Jong-un and it flew far about 45 minutes, going 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) high covering a distance of 1,000 kilometres (621 miles).This development has sent shock waves to the United States  and its allies because the missile has the potential to hit major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Denver,Chicago,New York and Boston.

South Korean military officials were swift to react by discussing ‘military response options” after North Korea carried out its second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile in a month.

Marine General Joseph Dunford,who is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with  Admiral Harry Harris, the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command spoke with General Lee Sun-jin, chairman of the South Korean Joint Chief of Staff.The Pentagon confirmed that the missile, which flew for 45 minutes, travelled an estimated 600 miles and landed west of Japan’s Hokkaido island It flew for six minutes longer than the previous one tested on July 4 that shows a rapid upgradation of missile technology by DPRK.

The growing missile threat from North Korea has given a boost to an arms build-up in Northeast Asia as Japan is now considering buying ballistic missile defense systems from the United States.South Korean president Moon Jae-in , who was in favour of diffusing the Korean tension through Diplomatic talks, has now called for strengthening South Korea’s deterrence capabilities that includes military alliance with the United States.

“We must actively look for measures to secure our military’s own forces to deter and effectively deal with North Korea’s nuclear threats,” Moon said after an emergency meeting of his National Security Council on July 29.

The provocative acts of North Korea increased after U.S. President Donald Trump ended the “era of strategic patience” with North Korea and called on nations around the world to implement sanctions and demand that the North Korean regime chose a better path by ending the program of developing nuclear and ballistic missile for a better future for its long-suffering people.”

North Korea’s allies China and Russia are also concerned with the latest launch of ICBM as Beijing condemned July28 missile launch and asked Pyongyang to “stop taking actions that would escalate tensions” on the Korean Peninsula.

“The UN Security Council has clear regulations on North Korea’s launch activities that use ballistic missile technologies. China is opposed to North Korea’s launch activities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and against the will of the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

 

Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are pushing China to deal with North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear program.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has asked China and Russia to do more to stop North Korea’s missile program.

 

“As the principal economic enablers of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development program, China and Russia bear unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability,” Tillerson said in a statement.

China doesn’t won’t escalation in the northeast Asia to safeguard its strategic and economic goals such as One Belt One Road initiative  and its projects in the  South China Sea as it is on the verge of becoming a superpower.
Trump will be discussing various  options with Pentagon and intelligence agencies  like surgical strikes, Economic sanctions, Diplomacy  and in the last resort by eliminating Kim Jong-un or sabotaging the nuclear and ballistic missile program.

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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Research and development activity to get hit as WD benefit to cease from FY21

According to experts, R&D activity is a key proponent of the ‘Make in India’ strategy and to further expand the manufacturing sector in the country.

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Research and development activity

New Delhi, Feb 19 : India Inc’s R&D activity might get adversely impacted as weighted deduction (WD) benefits, including those on capital expenses, stand withdrawn from the next fiscal.

Till now, the Income Tax Act allowed for weighted deduction for all R&D activities.

However, four years back a sunset provision was introduced in the Budget on the availability of weighted deduction from April 1, 2020.

This deadline was expected to have been extended in this year’s Budget. However, that did not happen.

“The weighted deduction was a key reason for entities to invest in R&D infra. This withdrawal will impact future investments in this area,” said Amarjeet Singh, Senior Partner, International Tax and Regulatory, KPMG in India.

According to experts, R&D activity is a key proponent of the ‘Make in India’ strategy and to further expand the manufacturing sector in the country.

Besides, R&D investments into India have grown with many MNCs establishing their research bases here.

“The ‘Make in India’ programme has got the booster of a reduced tax rate. Similarly, had the government continued with the weighted deduction for R&D, it would have surely ensured that India marched ahead both in manufacturing and in the corresponding R&D,” said Gukul Chaudhri, Partner, Deloitte India.

“So, while India may not lose its tag as the R&D lab of the world, the availability of weighted deduction would have ensured that India continued as one of the most attractive destinations for R&D in the world,” Chaudhri added.

The Finance Act, 2016, restricted the availability of expenditure incurred on scientific research to 150 per cent from April 1, 2017, and no weighted deduction from April 1, 2020.

“Globally, most countries are encouraging R&D activity as it generates new ‘intellectual property’ (IP), which in turn creates sustainable revenues. Such IP or new product gives rise to a new industry and other supporting activities,” said Samir Kanabar, Partner, Tax and Regulatory Services, Ernst & Young.

“In India, several sectors like auto, pharma etc. have invested substantially in R&D facilities to develop new IPs, patents and hence, a new tax regime to boost R&D was a major expectation,” Kanabar added.

However, Suman Chowdhury, President, Ratings, Acuite Ratings and Research, said that the reduction in weighted tax deduction will not have any significant effect on India Inc’s R&D activity.

“India’s R&D activity has held steady at 0.7 per cent of GDP over 5 years and no visible signs of positive outcomes were seen emanating from private enterprises despite such benefits,” Chowdhury said.

“Nevertheless, corporates now enjoy a reduced effective corporate tax structure, which should more than compensate for the loss, at least for the manufacturing sector. Service oriented enterprises, whose business model thrives on innovation, do not require incentives to do R&D in our opinion,” Chowdhury added.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])

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AGR risk for GAIL, OIL and Powergrid stays: Fitch

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New Delhi, Feb 19 : India’s telecom-related regulatory dispute still is event risk for GAIL, OIL and Powergrid, Fitch Ratings said on wednesday.

Fitch Ratings continues to treat any payments that three India-based companies – GAIL (India) Limited (BBB-/Stable), Oil India Limited (BBB-/Stable) and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (BBB-/Stable) – may have to make under a demand notice from the Department of Telecom as an event risk for the companies’ ratings.

Fitch is not taking immediate rating action on the three companies, as the Supreme Court of India allowed the companies to withdraw their clarification applications on February 14, 2020, and resolve their dispute with Department of Telecom outside the court.

This is in stark contrast to the court’s decision to demand immediate payments from the telecom companies that are also involved in the dispute, Fitch added.

“We expect the three companies to eventually resolve the dispute, although resolution timing is uncertain. A speedy solution is important to prevent disrupting the companies’ investment plans and damaging their performance. The three companies are considering an appeal against the demand notices. We understand that they have the option to resolve the matter through alternate dispute-resolution mechanisms available to state-owned enterprises. This is in addition to the legal options available to telecom license holders in general,” it said.

The Department of Telecom has issued demand notices to GAIL, OIL and POWERGRID for Rs 1,831 billion, Rs 480 billion and Rs 220 billion, respectively.

The notices include license fees on non-telecom revenue and additional interest and penalties on the license fees. However, the three companies’ telecom-related revenue is insignificant, at around Rs 0.5 billion, Rs 0.01 billion and Rs 23 billion, respectively, for the same time period as the demand notices.

The three companies have created telecom infrastructure for internal use and have obtained national long distance and Internet service provider licenses to rent out spare capacity. They maintain that their licenses differ from the unified access licenses held by telecom companies, hence, the court’s decision on adjusted gross revenue for telecom companies does not apply to them.

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Kanpur tanneries asked to shut down again

Aftab Alam, a leather exporter, said the closure order would not only damage the business image of tanneries but would affect leather export too.

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UP tanneries Business

Kanpur, Feb 17 : The Regional Pollution Control Board of Uttar Pradesh has ordered 248 tanneries in Jajmau area of Kanpur to stop their operations from February 19 till further orders, without assigning any reason.

The tanneries, which remained closed for a period of 13 months on the charge of polluting Ganga, were allowed to start production on December 20 for two months only.

S.B. Franklin, regional pollution control board officer, said the time limit of two months is expiring on February 19.

Feroz Alam of Small Tanners’ Association said that on December 20 last year, the government, while granting permission to run the units with half capacity, had also stated that the tanners would be allowed to run their units till next year if they followed the necessary norms and standards fixed by the pollution control board.

He said, “During the last two months, not a single notice was issued to any tannery by the regional pollution control board because the tanneries did not flout the norms set by it.”

He said that the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) had not given any reason for the closure order now.

Aftab Alam, a leather exporter, said the closure order would not only damage the business image of tanneries but would affect leather export too.

He said the tanneries which have got orders from foreign companies would suffer if they failed to supply the goods in time.

The tanners would also face problems in getting new orders in future, he added.

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