Daily Current Affairs: GK Today- 11 November 2017

1.5 MW Small Hydro Power Plant in Biaras Drass, Kargil (J&K) becomes first project to be commissioned under Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative

The Biaras Small Hydro Power Project (SHP) of 1.5 MW capacity, in Biaras Drass, Kargil Jammu & Kashmir, was commissioned on 4th November 2017. The total cost of the project, fully funded by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, is Rs. 17 crores and this is the first project to be commissioned under the Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative (LREI).

The plant will power the Drass town in Kargil, which is one of the coldest places in India. Power from Biaras SHP would be sufficient to meet normal power requirement of about 1000 families, which would make them comfortable in the extreme winter season. The project has been developed by Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) under Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council.

 

Cabinet approves Joint Interpretative Declaration between India and Colombia regarding the Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investment

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing the Joint Interpretative Declaration (JID) between India and Colombia regarding the existing Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments between India and Colombia signed on November 10, 2009.

The JID would impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing Agreement as it includes interpretative notes to be jointly adopted for many clauses, including, the definition of investor, definition of investment, Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET), National Treatment (NT) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, expropriation, Investor – State Dispute Settlement provision and Denial of Benefits. Joint Interpretative Declarations/Statements in general play an important supplementary role in strengthening the investment treaty regime.

 

Cabinet approves the protocol amending the Agreement between India and Kyrgyz for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the protocol amending the Agreement between India and Kyrgyz Republic for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The Protocol amending Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) aims to update Article 26 (Exchange of Information) of the DTAA to international standards. The updated Article provides for exchange of information to the widest possible extent. The new paragraphs 4 and 5 being inserted into the existing Article 26 of the DTAA provide that the State from which information is requested cannot deny information on the ground that it has no domestic tax interest in that information or that the information requested is held by a bank or a financial institution, etc. The Protocol further empowers India to use information received under the DTAA to be used for other law enforcement purposes on the supplying State authorizing such use.

Background:

The existing DTAA between India and Kyrgyz Republic was notified on 7/02/2001 and the same was in force since 10/01/2001. A Protocol amending DTAA between India and Kyrgyz Republic for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income has been agreed to be signed between the two countries.

 

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval forentering into an Agreement between India and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to HKSAR & vice versa, prevent double taxation and provide for exchange of information between the two Contracting Parties. It will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Background:

In so far as India is concerned, the Central Government is authorized under Section 90 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to enter into an Agreement with a foreign country or specified territory for avoidance of double taxation of income, for exchange of information for the prevention of evasion or avoidance of income-tax chargeable under the Income-tax Act, 1961. This Agreement is on similar lines as entered into by India with other countries.