1. Union Government proposes key amendments to Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
The Union government on February 1, 2018 proposed changes to various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 through the Finance Bill. The amendments are expected to make the implementation of PMLA more effective.
One of the key amendments empowers the Special Court to restore confiscated assets to the rightful claimants even during the trial.
The amended definition of "proceeds of crime" allows the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to proceed against assets of equivalent value located even outside the country.
2. Mary Kom clinches gold medal at India Open Boxing tournament
The five-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Mary Kom on February 2, 2018 claimed the gold medal in the India Open International Boxing tournament at Thyagraj Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
Kom defeated Josie Gabuco from the Philippines in a split 4-1 decision to grab the gold in the women's 48kg weight category. The 12th seeded boxer had earlier booked her place in the finals after defeating Mongolian Altansetseg Lutsaikhan in the semi-final clash.
In the 64 kg category, the former world and Asian bronze medallist Pwilao Basumatary was the first among the women to fetch gold by claiming a 3-2 win over Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee. Pinki Rani also fetched gold for India after defeating Mongolia’s Jargalan Ochirbat in the final of fly (48-51 kg) category.
3. New tunnel at Sela Pass to boost Defence Preparedness in border areas
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced while presenting the Union Budget 2018 that the government would be building a tunnel through the Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh.
The construction of the tunnel will ensure faster movement of troops in Tawang, a strategically- located town in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China. According to the Defence Ministry, the approval for the construction of Sela pass in Arunachal Pradesh has given further impetus to the defence preparedness.
The development is a part of the Union Government’s effort to develop connectivity infrastructure in border areas to secure India’s defence.
4. India joins Ashgabat agreement
India on February 1, 2018 joined the Ashgabat agreement, which envisages the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor linking Central Asia with the Persian Gulf to significantly ramp up trade and investment.
The agreement was originally signed on April 25, 2011, among the four founding members - Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with an aim to set up a trade and transit corridor between them.
The External Affairs Ministry in its official release stated that Turkmenistan, as depository state of Ashgabat agreement, informed India on Feb 1 that all the four founding members have consented to the accession of India to the agreement.
5. In Detail: Union Budget 2018-19 and Economic Survey
Since the beginning of the year 2018, there has been abuzz surrounding Budget 2018-19- What would be the allocation for agriculture sector? What Budget 2018 is likely to bring for infrastructure sector? Will Budget 2018 witness increase in income tax slab?.
Besides, all these questions and expectations, Budget 2018-19 happens to be little more crucial as it comes following government's two big financial decisions - demonetisation and the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Now, with the presentation of the Budget 2018-19, it becomes clear that there aren't any major changes in indirect tax as most of them are now under the purview of GST council. However, there might be some doubts and queries still lingering in the mind of few.
For the ease of readers and aspirants, jagranjosh.com has developed and accumulated all the budget related information at one place. Read Here