GST council meeting discussed change in GST rate for digital transactions and imposition of Sugar Cess
• The 27th GST council discussed in detail the proposal of a concession of 2 percent in GST rate on B2C supplies, for which payment is made through cheque or digital mode, subject to a ceiling of Rs 100 per transaction.
• The council recommended for setting up of a Group of Ministers from State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, before the next Council meeting.
• The Council also discussed the issue of imposition of sugar cess and reduction in GST rate on ethanol.
India doing extremely well on electrification: World Bank
• The World Bank on May 4, 2018 said that India is doing extremely well on electrification with nearly 85 percent of the country's population having access to electricity.
• In the latest report, the World Bank said that India provided electricity to 30 million people each year between 2010 and 2016.
Nobel Prize in Literature will not be awarded this year
• The Swedish Academy on May 4, 2018 announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be not awarded this year following the sex-abuse allegations and other issues within its ranks that have stained the body’s reputation.
• The decision was taken in view of the reduced public confidence in the Academy. However, the 2018 prize will be given in 2019.
• It is the first time since 1943 that the prestigious award will not handed over.
CBDT inks 200th Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement
• The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into 200th Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (UAPA) in April 2018.
• With the signing of this UAPA, the total number of APAs entered into by CBDT so far has gone up to 220, which include 20 Bilateral APAs.
• The UAPA entered in April 2018 pertains to provision of sourcing support services.
EPFO launches View Pension Passbook Service on Umang App
• The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) launched View Pension Passbook Service for pensioners on Umang App.
• It will allow pensioners to view their pension passbook on mobile phones with the help of Umang app.
• This facility was launched as a part of EPFO’s plan to go paperless by August 2018 and provide all services online.
India and France conduct final phase of Varuna naval exercise near Reunion Island
• Indian and French navies conducted final and third phase of Varuna naval exercise 2018 near Reunion Island in Indian Ocean region (IOR).
• In the final phase, both navies simulated different possible scenarios such as asymmetric warfare and tested their air defence capabilities.
• 2018 Varuna naval exercise between Indian and French Navy was conducted in three phases and included anti-submarine, air defence and asymmetric engagement exercises.
India, US hold round 3 of Maritime Security Dialogue in Goa
• India and United States held the third round of the India-US Maritime Security Dialogue in Goa focussing on cooperation and developments in the Indo-Pacific region.
• Both the sides discussed the developments in maritime domain in Indo-Pacific Region and exchanged views on ways to further strengthen bilateral maritime security cooperation.
• They also reviewed implementation of decisions taken during the previous Maritime Security Dialogues.