National Current Affairs July 2016

Union Government Relaxed FDI Norms

  • India eased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules for several sectors, including defence, aviation and retail, clearing the way for businesses on June 20, 2016.
  • Under the new norms, 74% FDI would be allowed in pharma sector under the automatic route, which means that foreign investors will not need government’s approval to invest up to 74% in existing domestic companies.
  • The government also allowed 100% FDI in scheduled airlines, where 49% FDI was allowed under automatic route. However, existing rule that prevents foreign airlines from owning more than 49% in scheduled airlines stays.
  • In the defence sector, foreign companies can own 100% equity, according to the latest rules. Present FDI regime permits 49% FDI participation in the equity of a company under automatic route. FDI above 49% is permitted through government approval on case to Case basis.

NRIs can now Open Account for Joining NPS

  • The Finance Ministry on Jtine 18, 2016 announced that Non Resident Indians (NRIs) can now open National Pension Savings (NPS) accounts online if they have Aadhaar Card or PAN card.
  • Till now, NRIs could open NPS accounts only through paper applications by approaching bank offices. Through eNPS, a subscriber will be able to open an NPS account from the comfort of his home. For repatriable schemes, an NRI will have to remit the amount through his/her NRE/FCNR/NRO account.
  • For non-repatriablc scheme, NR Is will be able to join NPS through their NRE/FCNR/NRO accounts at the time of maturity or during partial withdrawal, the NPS funds would be deposited only in their NRO accounts.

HRajasva Gyan Sangam’ Held

  • The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, addressed tax administrators at the Rajasva Gyan Sangam on June 16, 2016.
  • This is the first time that the two revenue boards—the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), held a simultaneous conference.
  • The Prime Minister outlined a five-point charter for tax administrators—RAPID : R for Revenue, A for Accountability, P for Probity, I for Information and D for Digitisation.
  • He urged the officers to turn the Gyan Sangam into a Karma Sangam, so that the ideas generated from this conference lead to concrete action on the ground.
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