NEWS FEED 03_Aug ‘2016

Government collects Rs 69,809 crore via petrol, diesel cess in 2015-16

  • According to a financial report, the Parliament was informed that Government has collected Rs 69,809 crore through cess imposed on petrol and diesel in the last financial year.
  • Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar in a written reply to Rajya Sabha informed that the collection amounted to Rs 17,217 crore through cess on Motor Spirit (Petrol) and Rs 52,592 crore via cess on High Speed Diesel Oil.
  • A supplementary duty of excise is levied and collected on Motor Spirit (Petrol) under the section 111 of Finance (No 2) Act 1998.
  • Also an additional duty of excise is levied and collected, on High Speed Diesel Oil under Section 133 of the Finance Act, 1999.
  • These levies are deemed to be a cess for the purpose of the Central Road Fund Act, 2000.
  • Gangwar in a reply to a separate question, said the impact of direct tax incentives (Corporate Income Tax and Personal Income Tax) on account of exemptions in last financial year stood at Rs 1,28,639 crore.
  • Apart from the impact of indirect tax exclusion (Customs duty and Excise Duty) on account of exemptions of 2015-16 is estimated at Rs 4,82,489 crore.


No West in Bengal? State cabinet adopts resolution for name change

  • West Bengal may soon be known as Bengal in English and Bangla or Banga in Bengali. After decades of forethought, the first solid step of renaming the eastern state was taken, with the cabinet adopting a resolution.
  • The decision shall be ratified in a special meeting of the assembly, which may take place on August 29-30. The declaration will then be sent to the Centre for approval of Parliament.
  • But ahead of that, the proposal will be discussed at an all-party meeting where the assembly speaker will be present.
  • The name of the state capital — and the national capital till 1911 — was changed to Kolkata in January 2001 by the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led Left Front government. It was previously known as Calcutta.
  • Senior bureaucrats and politicians from West Bengal often complained that they were attended to at the end of high-level meetings in Delhi where representatives were called in accordance with the alphabetical order of their states. If the eastern state gets the new name, it will leapfrog from bottom of the list to the top of the pecking order.
  • Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, a well-known Bengali author, said: “This is actually no change in name. We are merely going back to the old name.”
  • Mukhopadhyay was referring to the pre-Independence era when a united West Bengal, Bangladesh and some parts of India’s northeast were together known as Bengal.
  • After the end of Left rule in 2011, chief minister Mamata Banerjee changed the names of a number of roads and metro stations (Tollygunge station became Mahanayak Uttam Kuma etc.).


Inderjeet Singh’s ‘B’ sample also positive, Rio hopes diminish

  • In another setback to India at Rio Olympics, shot-put athlete Inderjeet Singh’s chances of making it to Rio suffered a major setback; his ‘B’ sample has also been found positive. This reduces his chances to go to Rio and represent India.
  • Previously, the ‘A’ sample of the shot-putter was also found positive but he had claimed foul play in the dope test.
  • Earlier, the ‘A’ sample had returned positive for steroids androsterone and etiocholanolone but Inderjeet had claimed tampering of his sample. His test done on June 22 had returned positive. Inderjeet now faces a four-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
  • The upsetting news has come a day after Narsingh Yadav was cleared by NADA (National Anti Doping Agency) of a dope test in which the wrestler had claimed conspiracy and the NADA panel agreed to it.
  • The same has been claimed by the shot-putter. Inderjeet is a Asian Games bronze medallist and multiple time national champion.


China holds live-fire navy drills in East China Sea

  • China’s navy has fired dozens of missiles and torpedoes during exercises in the East China Sea that come amid heightened maritime tensions in the region, underscoring Beijing’s determination to back up its sovereignty claims with force if needed.
  • The live-fire drills that began on follow China’s harsh rejection of an international arbitration panel’s ruling previous month that invalidated Beijing’s claims to a vast swath of the South China Sea.
  • That led to days of annoyed statements from Beijing, followed by live-firing naval exercises in the South China Sea and the launch of regular aerial patrols in the area.
  • The Defence Ministry said that the East China Sea exercises were aimed at improving the “intensity, precision, stability and speed” of its forces in the middle of an environment of strong electromagnetic forces that result from modern electronic warfare.
  • “An information technology-based war at sea is sudden, cruel and short, which requires fast transition to combat status, quick preparation and high assault efficiency,” the Ministry said.
  • The drills comprise ships, submarines, aircraft and coastguard forces, illustrating China’s growing emphasis on integrated training under realistic conditions.
  • China’s navy has been closing the gap with its U.S. rival in both ship numbers and technology, including the employment of advanced anti-ship missiles, nuclear submarines and the country’s first aircraft carrier.
  • While global concentration has been drawn to the South China Sea, where five governments exercise territorial claims overlapping with China’s, Beijing also operates extensively in the East China Sea where it claims a string of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan.
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