News Feed 08 – July ‘2016

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Tanzania

  • Union Cabinet chaired by the PMi Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tanzania in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.
  • The MoU will provide structured frame work for the cooperation between the two countries for the promotion and propagation of Indian Traditional Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy in Tanzania.
  • No additional financial implications have been involved. The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences / meetings will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.
  • Tanzania is an important East African country with historical ties with India and with substantial population of around 70 thousand Indian diaspora. Tanzania and India have traditionally enjoyed close, friendly and co-operative relations.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH as a part of its mandate to propagate Indian systems of Medicine globally had signed MoUs with several other countries which include China, Malaysia, Hungary, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.

India slips to 91st place on readiness for digitised economy 

  • India has slipped two places to 91st position on a global list of countries in terms of their readiness for transition to a digitised economy and society, while Singapore remains on top.
  • Among the major emerging markets, India is ranked the lowest with Russia retaining the top place at 41st rank, followed by China at 59th (up three places), South Africa up 10 places at 65th and Brazil moving up to 72nd position.
  • The annual Networked Readiness Index released today by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) is once again topped by Singapore while Finland has also retained its second place. Others in the top-ten are Sweden, Norway, the US, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Luxembourg and Japan.
  • India’s position on the list has come down for the fourth year in a row, from 89th in 2015, 83rd in 2014 and 68th in 2013.
  • India has scored better in terms of political and regulatory environment (78th position), it fares worse in terms of business and innovation environment (110th).
  • India’s launch of the Digital India programme aims to close this gap by fostering investment in digital infrastructure, improving digital literacy, and increasingly providing online services to citizens.
  • India’s performance in terms of providing online services and allowing e-participation has so far been in line with that of peer countries, but far from the global best (57th and 40th, respectively).

Govt to introduce GST Bill on first day of monsoon session

  • Union Government has decided to introduce the GST Bill on the first working day of the monsoon session of Parliament, in what could be a sign of its confidence that it can notch up the numbers for the long-pending legislation.
  • The GST Bill was listed for business in the middle or end of the sessions in view of the apprehension that a confrontation with the Opposition could derail the other business agenda of the government.
  • The customary all-party meeting will be held on July 17, a day before the session begins, there were no plans of senior ministers calling on the top leadership of the Congress as the strategy did not work last time.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will also meet leaders of all parties the same day. Besides, an NDA meeting is expected to firm up the ruling alliance’s strategy for the session.
  • The government is confident of the support of Left parties, even as the CPM leadership has distanced itself from its Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac’s unequivocal backing of the goods and services tax.

Goods and Services Tax Bill or GST Bill, officially known as The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, proposes a national Value added Tax to be implemented in India from June 2016. It would be a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India, to replace taxes levied by the Central and State governments.

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