19 May

GST Council Announces GST Rates

The GST Council headed by finance Minister Arun Jaitley has finalised tax rates and has approved all the seven rules for the GST regime that is scheduled to be implemented from July 1. The remaining two rules of the GST pertaining to transition and return is under the examination of the legal committee. In total, the council has fixed the rates of 1211 items. It will decide rates of some other items and services in the coming days. Salient Highlights Out of 1211 items, 81% of the items will attract tax of 18% or less. Only the remaining 19% of items will attract a highest rate of 28% Household items like Sugar, Tea, Coffee and edible oil will attract 5% levy. Cereals and milk will be exempted from the tax. Manufactured goods will attract 18% levy. Luxury cars will attract 28% GST in addition to a cess of 15%. Small petrol cars will attract 28% GST plus a 1% cess, and diesel cars will be taxed at 28% plus 3% cess. Capital goods, a key asset for the manufacturing sector, will be taxed at 28%. Aerated drinks will fall under the 28% tax bracket.

Bilateral Exercise SIMBEX-17 between Indian & Republic Of Singapore Navy Commences

The 24th bilateral exercise involving Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy has commenced in South China Sea. SIMBEX stands for ‚Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises”. The exercise will be held from May 18, 2017 to May 24, 2017. This edition of the bilateral exercise aims at increasing the interoperability among the two navies as well as developing a common understanding and procedures among the two navies for maritime security operations. The major thrust of the exercise will lie on AntiSubmarine Operations (ASN), integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface Forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.

Indian Scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni Wins Prestigious Dan David Prize

Indian scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the prestigious Dan David prize as a recognition for his contributions made in the field of astronomy. Shrinivas Kulkarni, a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is a pioneer in the field of timedomain astrophysics. He has been credited for building and conducting the Palomar Transient Factory, which is a large-area survey of the night sky that has turned up with thousands of stellar explosions. Shrinivas kulkarni would share the award with Andrej Udalski of the University of Warsaw and Neil Gehrels of NASA for their discoveries on time-domain astrophysics in the ‚Future‛ category of the prize. With this award, Shrinivas Kulkarni will join other prominent Indians who have won the Dan David prize like noted author Amitav Ghosh, music conductor Zubin Mehta and renowned chemist CNR Rao.


Indian Army gets its First Artillery Gun in 30 Years

Nearly after 30 years after the induction of Bofors howitzers, Indian Army will get its first artillery guns called M777 from BAE Systems. Swedish Bofors guns were inducted in late 1980s after which Army has not inducted any modern artillery guns. The two M777s has arrived in New Delhi and will be tested at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan. The two M777 guns will be used for compilation of firing tables. Indian Army has plans to equip 169 regiments with 3,503 guns by 2020.

International Court of Justice directs Pakistan to stay Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution till its final verdict

The International Court of Justice at Hague today stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage. Ruling in favor of India, which moved the UN’s highest judicial body against the death sentence, the ICJ President Ronny Abraham directed Pakistan to take all necessary measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav was not executed till it takes a final decision.

Tata Group Named Country’s Most Valuable Brand in Brand Finance List

Brand finance in its 2017 report that lists India’s 100 most valuable brands has named Tata Group as the most valuable brand in India at an estimated brand value of 13.1 billion. Brand Finance is a global brand valuation and strategy consultancy firm. Tata Group has managed to top the list despite its brand value declining 4% from 13.7 billion in 2016. As per the report, the total brand value of India’s top 100 brands have surged 15% in 2017 compared to the global average of 11%. Overall 68 of India’s 100 most valuable brands have registered growth in value this year. Telecom operator Airtel at an estimated valuation of 7.7 billion has been ranked second in the list followed by Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) with 6.8 billion. IT firm Infosys and State Bank of India have been ranked fourth and fifth in the list with an estimated value of 6.2 billion and 5.5 billion respectively.

BSNL Signs MoU with Facebook and MobiKwik

BSNL has inked agreements with Facebook and MobiKwik in order to popularize the internet and its value added services among its customers. Further, BSNL has also signed a third MoU with Disney Land India to offer premium online gaming services to its mobile customers. The series of MoUs signed by BSNL comes at the backdrop of a stiff competition faced by BSNL from private telecom companies like Airtel and Reliance Jio.

Anti-dumping duty imposed on Chinese chemical, aluminium foil

India has imposed anti-dumping duty on a Chinese chemical used in pharma industry and aluminium foil to protect domestic industry from cheap imports. While an anti-dumping duty of up to 1.63 US Dollar per kg was imposed on aluminium foil, up to 8.71 US Dollar per kg duty was slapped on imports of amoxicillin, used in pharmaceuticals. The duty on both the products would be effective for a period of five years, the finance ministry has said in separate notifications. The commerce ministry’s investigation arm, Directorate General of Anti dumping and Allied Duties, DGAD in the separate probe had concluded that these products were dumped into India and that has caused material injury to the domestic industry.


Key Asian stocks fall amid concern about political developments in US

Key Asian stocks fell, today, amid concern about political developments in the US. Key Asian markets also lost ground. So Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 1.3 percent; Singapore’s Straits Times index lost 0.1 percent; South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.3 percent, each; China’s Shanghai Composite index declined 0.5 percent; and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.6 percent. In Europe, the UK’s FTSE-100 had tumbled 1.4 percent, Germany’s DAX had lost 0.9 percent, and France’s CAC-40 had slumped 1.2 percent in intra-day trade. While stocks flashed warning lights again, the dollar steadied and seemed to be going for the ‘calm down’ option.


US Justice Department names former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to probe possible collusion between President Trump and Russia

In the United States, the Justice Department has named former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to oversee a probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the Presidential election. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said it is in the public interest to bring an outsider to oversee the investigation. Calls for a special prosecutor to probe the matter have risen since President Donald Trump fired the FBI Director James Comey last week.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave Passes Away

Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave has passed away. He was 60. Anil Madhav Dave was born in Badnagar of Madhya Pradesh on July 6, 1956. He is a Member of Parliament representing Madhya Pradesh. Dave was first elected to Rajya Sabha in 2009. Last year, he was sworn in as a minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change. He was very passionate on implementing environmental projects including conservation of the Narmada river. He had also founded an organisation called ‘Narmada Samagra’ for conservation of Narmada.

Veteran film actor Reema Lagoo dies after a cardiac arrest in Mumbai Veteran film actor Reema Lagoo died in Mumbai this morning after a cardiac arrest. She was 59. She is survived by a daughter. Reema had complained of chest pain last night and was rushed to hospital where she breathed her last. “Over the course of her career, Reema Lagoo became Hindi film industry’s favourite actor who played the mother’s role to the biggest stars in the industry like Salman Khan ( in Maine Pyar Kiya), Akshay Kumar (in Gumrah and Yeh Dillagi), Sridevi (in Jai Kishen), Madhuri Dixit (in Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!), Juhi Chawla (in Qyamaat se Qayamat tak), Sanjay Dutt (in Vaastav) and Shah Rukh Khan (Kal Ho Na Ho). Her other popular films include Aashiqui, Kuch Kuch hota hain, Saajan and Hum Saath Saath hain. She was critically acclaimed for her acting in Rui Ka Bojh (1997).

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