1. Karnataka Helpline for Cyber Crime
- By the end of January 2022, citizens in Karnataka can dial 112 to report cybercrime 24×7.
- At present, the helpline of the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (155260) of the Ministry of Home Affairs is available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- The state government is working on co-locating 112 with 15520 and making the service of reporting cybercrime 24X7.
2. AIIMS in Gorakhpur
- Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that in December an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be inaugurated in Gorakhpur and a fertilizer factory which has been lying closed since 1990 will be restarted.
- Addressing a gathering after the inauguration or foundation laying of 86 development schemes worth more than 316 crore
- Prime Minister will dedicate both facilities to the public.
3. Omicron coronavirus
- Britain, Germany, and Italy detected cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant on Saturday, November 27, 2021, even as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new steps to contain the virus, while more nations imposed restrictions on travel from southern Africa.
- The discovery of the variant has sparked global concern, a wave of travel bans or curbs and a sell-off on financial markets on Friday as investors worried that Omicron could stall a global recovery from the nearly two-year pandemic.
4. Cross-border law for corporate debtors
- The government is preparing to come out with a cross-border insolvency resolution framework based on the UNCITRAL model law and is proposed to be made applicable for both corporate debtors as well as personal guarantors to such debtors.
- The Corporate Affairs Ministry, which is implementing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), has sought comments on the draft framework till December 15.
- The UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, 1997, is the most widely accepted legal framework to deal with cross-border insolvency issues.
- Section 227 of the Code enables the Central government to notify, in consultation with the financial sector regulators, Financial Service Providers (FSPs) or categories of FSPs for the purpose of insolvency and liquidation proceedings.
5. GST Rate Structure
The Government can rationalize the GST rate structure without losing revenues by rejigging the four major rates of 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% with a three-rate framework of 8%, 15%, and 30%, as per a National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) study.
The findings of the NIPFP, an autonomous think tank backed by the Finance Ministry, assume significance as the GST Council has tasked a Group of Ministers, headed by Karnataka CM Basavaraj S. Bommai, to propose a rationalization of tax rates and a possible merger of different tax slabs by December to shore up revenues.
- Multiple rate changes since the introduction of the GST regime in July 2017 have brought the effective GST rate to 11.6% from the original revenue-neutral rate of 15.5%
- Merging the 12% and 18% GST rates into any tax rate lower than 18% may result in revenue loss.
- The study proposes that the GST Council may consider a three-rate structure by adopting 8%, 15%, and 30% for revenue neutrality.
- The nature of rate changes has also meant that over 40% of taxable turnover value now falls in the 18% tax slab, thus any move to dovetail that slab with a lower rate will trigger losses to the tax kitty that need to be offset by marginal hikes in other remaining major rates — 5% and 28%
- The 28% rate is levied on demerit goods such as tobacco products, automobiles, and aerated drinks, along with an additional GST compensation cess.
- If the revenue loss from merging the 12% and 18% slabs were to be met by just hiking the rate on demerit or sin goods, the highest GST rate would have to be raised to almost 38%.
- Alternatively, the lowest standard rate will have to be raised from 5% to about
6. India Bangladesh CEO Forum
- The India-Bangladesh CEO Forum will meet soon for the first time, even as the two countries work towards finalizing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to deepen trade and economic ties as partners rather than competitors.
- Bangladesh has transitioned from a less developed country to a developing nation status and India stands “shoulder to shoulder” with the country’s leadership and people in their development journey.
- Noting that India-Bangladesh supply chains worked uninterrupted through the pandemic, improving connectivity is “imperative” for expanding and realizing the potential for bilateral trade and investments.
- Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia with a volume of over $10 billion.
- Bangladesh Textile Industry Forum (IBTIF) has been set up to facilitate cooperation in the textile sector
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7. Satwik and Chirag
- World no 11 duos of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has become the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals starting here on December 1.
- Satwik and Chirag had finished at the semifinals of the Indonesia Open last week but made the cut after the Japanese pairing of Akira Koga and Taichi Saito also lost in the last four at the Super 1000 tournament.
- The Indian pair thus leapfrogged the Japanese pair in the Road to Bali to book the berth at the year-ending event.