Current Affairs in Short: 16 April 2020
The International Monetary Fund has proposed to double its emergency financial assistance to countries battling the COVID-19 outbreak.
IMF to double emergency assistance to countries battling COVID-19
• The International Monetary Fund has proposed to double its emergency financial assistance to countries battling the COVID-19 outbreak.
• The IMF has proposed to deploy its full USD 1 trillion lending capacity to support countries battling the COVID-19 outbreak. The IMF board has already approved debt relief to 25 of its poorest members.
• Describing the COVID-19 pandemic as a crisis like no other, IMF head Kristalina Georgieva said on April 15, 2020 that the world is now in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Actor Ranjit Chowdhry passes away
• Actor-writer Ranjit Chowdhry passed away at the age of 65 years on April 15, 2020 in Mumbai. He was the son of veteran theatre artiste Pearl Padamsee and stepson of Theatre and ad world stalwart Alyque Padamsee.
• Chowdhry will be remembered for his roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Khubsoorat', Mira Nair's 'Mississippi Masala' starring Denzel Washington, Basu Chatterjee's 'Khatta Meetha' and 'Baton Baton Mein'.
• The late actor had also starred in several American tv shows including “The Office” and “Prison Break”.
Railway parcel vans deployed for speedy mass transportation of essential items
• The Indian Railways has made available railway parcel vans for speedy mass transportation of essential items by e-commerce entities and customers including state governments.
• The parcel vans will transport essential items including medical equipment, medical supplies and food in small parcels.
• The parcel special trains will be timetabled and will ply on select routes to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential items.
• The zonal railways are identifying and notifying routes for these Parcel Special trains. Currently, the trains are running on 65 routes.
South Korean President’s party wins absolute majority in Parliamentary Elections
• South Korean President, Moon Jae-in’s party won an absolute majority in the recent Parliamentary Elections.
• Moon Jae-in’s left-leaning Democratic party and its allies won 180 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, while the conservative opposition coalition won 103 seats. The Democratic party has 120 seats currently.
• The provisional results were released by the National Election Commission on April 16, 2020.
CBDT issues over 10 lakh refunds worth Rs 4,250 crore in a week
• The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has processed about 10 lakh refunds worth Rs 4,250 crore within a week.
• The refunds are over and above the 2.5 crore refunds already issued in 2019 -20 till March 31, 2020, which totaled to about Rs 1, 84,000 crore.
• The CBDT had said last week that it will issue the pending income tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh to help taxpayers amid COVID-19 pandemic.
• Around 1.75 lakh more refunds will be process in this week. These refunds will be credited directly into the taxpayer’s bank account in 5-7 business days.
US report: China may have secretly conducted low-level nuclear test explosions
• The US state department said in a report on April 15, 2020 that China may have secretly set-off low-level underground nuclear test explosions despite claiming to observe the international pact banning such blasts.
• The report findings may worsen ties between the US and China, as their relations have already been strained after the US accused China of mishandling the COVID-19 outbreak and not giving a forewarning when it first detected the virus in Wuhan in December 2019.
• According to the US State Department, China has possibly breached a "zero yield" standard for test blasts that have been prompted by activities at China's Lop Nur nuclear test site throughout 2019.
• Though the report contains no proof, it cites concerns over the Lop Nur nuclear test site and China’s use of explosive containment chambers.