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Current Affairs - December 2016

  • 31-Dec-2016
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the period of enhanced Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) limit of Rs 20,000 as part of efforts to promote digital payments.

    The limit has been extended till the completion of review of the PPI guidelines. However, the balance in such PPIs cannot exceed Rs 20,000 at any point of time and the merchants can transfer funds from such PPIs to their own linked bank accounts up to Rs 50,000 per month, without any limit per transaction.

  • India and Singapore have signed a Third Protocol to amend DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

    It was signed in line with India’s treaty policy to prevent double non-taxation, curb revenue loss and check the menace of black money through automatic exchange of information.

  • 30-Dec-2016
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed two unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers pertain to the Information Technology and automobile sectors.

    The international transactions covered in these two agreements include software development services, IT enabled services (ITES), manufacturing and business support services. With this, the total number of APAs signed by the CBDT has reached 117. This includes 110 Unilateral APAs and 7 bilateral APAs. In the current 2016-17 financial year, total of 53 APAs (4 bilateral and 49 unilateral) were signed.

  • Colombia’s Congress passed a law granting amnesty to Marxist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels as part of historic peace deal reached between rebels and Government. The Senate passed the bill 69-0 votes after the House of Representatives approved it by 121-0 votes. This is another step to formally end to 52 years of Columbian civil war (Latin America’s longest conflict). The law grants special legal treatment, amnesty and pardons to members of the FARC accused of political and related crimes. It does not apply to FARC rebels accused of offenses such as war crimes, rape, torture and extrajudicial killings.

  • President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, to enable industries to pay wages by cheque or credit into the bank accounts of workers. The ordinance amends the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 to encourage cashless transactions. With this assent the ordinance becomes law as per article 123 of the Constitution.

  • China opens world's longest high-speed railway line.

     It used to take the best part of 24 hours to travel by train from Beijing to the southern boomtown of Guangzhou. But as of Wednesday, when the world's longest high-speed rail line opened for business, the 1,428-mile journey has been cut to a mere eight hours.

  • The Union Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas has met the 1.5-crore target for LPG connections that were to be added under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the 2016-17 financial year.

    This Target was achieved within a span of less than eight months since the launch of the scheme which is implemented across 35 States/UTs.

  • The 'world's highest bridge' standing 1850ft above a gorge opens.
    The Beipanjiang Bridge, which reportedly cost 1.023 billion yuan (£120 million) to build, overtook the 560-metre-high (1,837 feet) Sidu River Bridge, also in China, to become the highest bridge in the world
  • 50 per cent reservation in Judicial services in Bihar.

    The Bihar government  approved 50 per cent reservation in the state’s judicial services with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet clearing the Bihar Uchcha Nyayik Seva (Sansodhan) Niymawali, 2016, and Bihar Asainik Seva (Sansodhan) Niymawali, 2016.

  • PPA suspends Arunachal CM, Dy CM from primary membership.

    In a fast-paced development, the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) late on Thursday night suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and five other party MLAs from the primary membership of the party temporarily with immediate effect for alleged anti-party activities.

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