Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.
GST Council authorises Centre to hike cess on SUVs, luxury cars from 15% to 25%
GST Council has authorised Centre to hike cess on SUVs, luxury and large cars to 25 percent from 15 percent. Finance Ministry today said, GST Council in its meeting on the 5th August considered the issue that total tax incidence on motor vehicles after GST has come down. It recommended that Central Government may move legislative amendments to increase the maximum ceiling of cess on motor vehicles to 25 percent from present 15 percent.
National Handloom Day celebrated to encourage the use of handmade loom
National Handloom Day was celebrated on the 7th August to give an impetus to the sector and encourage the use of handmade loom. 7th of August was chosen as the Swadeshi Movement which was formally launched on this day in 1905. The movement involved the revival of domestic products and production processes. A number of functions were organized across the country on this occasion.
Government merges NCRB with BPRD
The Government has merged the National Crime Records Bureau with the Bureau of Police Research and Development. The decision has apparently been taken with a view to improving efficiency and optimal utilization of resources. The Director General of BPRD will be the Head of the merged entity.
The US says North Korea must halt ballistic missile tests if it wants to talk to Washington on resolving existing impasse
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today said, North Korea must halt ballistic missile tests if it wants to talk to Washington about resolving the existing impasse. Speaking at a security forum in Manila, Mr. Tillerson said, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote to impose sanctions on Pyongyang showed that world powers were united behind a push for a denuclearized Korean peninsula. Yesterday, Mr. Tillerson held separate talks in Manila with Foreign Ministers China and Russia, both of whom, he said, were in support of a tough stance on North Korea’s arsenal. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In today agreed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to most of the world. The two leaders, in a telephonic conversation, welcomed the new UNSC sanctions. North Korea has condemned the sanctions saying it will launch a revenge. In a statement, Pyongyang said, the sanctions were caused by the US plans to isolate North Korea. It said the sanctions will never force the country to negotiate over its nuclear program or to give up its initiatives. North Korea said it will take action of justice.
Dhaka to open diplomatic station in Chennai
Bangladesh will soon open a new diplomatic station in Chennai. Official sources from Bangladesh said on Monday that the new post was likely to focus on medical tourism and educational centres that drew thousands of Bangladesh citizens to India every year. “The main focus of the new diplomatic station in Chennai will be to address the needs of Bangladeshi citizens who visit India for medical and educational purposes. Medical treatment, especially super-specialty treatment of kidney, eye and neurological issues available in southern India, is the best in the region, which draws our citizens to India in large numbers. This has helped us to build a strong people-to-people bond,” said a diplomatic source from Bangladesh. The decision to open the new station in Chennai, said the official, was taken on 6th August during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Chinese defence ministry meets visiting Indian media
The Chinese defence ministry on 7th August opened its doors to visit an Indian media delegation, to reinforce its position that Indian troops must leave the Doklam plateau to resolve the crisis in the Sikkim section of the China-India frontier. Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang signaled that China was puzzled by the movement of Indian troops, in view of the interaction between the two militaries on two occasions prior to the crisis. He stressed that China had first notified India of its intention to build a road on March 18 – a day after an Indian military delegation on a goodwill mission visited the 3rd Garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the outskirts of Beijing. He said that the Indian side was, for the second time, informed about the Chinese decision, a fortnight prior to the arrival of PLA troops with bulldozers at the site of the road construction. On both occasions, there was no response from the Indian side.
Bank of Maharashtra cuts rates
Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has reduced its benchmark lending rate — known as the marginal cost of funds based lending rate — by 5-15 basis points (bps) across loan tenures. It is the first public sector bank to reduce lending rates following the 25 bps repo rate cut by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week. Following the rate cut, which came into effect on 7th August, the one-year MCLR — to which most loans are linked — came down by 5 bps to 8.7%. “With RBI cutting the repo rate by 0.25%, borrowers, particularly those with home loans, will get the benefit of decline in EMIs. In the light of the upcoming festive season, Bank of Maharashtra is glad to pass on the policy benefits to its customers,” the lender said in a statement. The lender has decided to keep its savings bank interest rate unchanged at 4% and also the base rate at 9.7%.
PNB customers to pay more for certain services
The customers of Punjab National Bank will have to pay charges for depositing cash above Rs 5000 into their account in a non-base branch even if it is in the same city. The minimum such charges will be Rs 25/-. For cheques above Rs 1 Cr being returned for want of funds, the charges have been revised to Rs 2000 for the first return to Rs 2500 for subsequent returns. For cash deposits at out station branches, will be free up to Rs 5000 and thereafter, the charges will be Rs 2 per thousand subjects to a minimum of Rs 25 per transaction. The locker rents are also being revised upwards by 25%. All the above changes are effective from 1st Sep 2017.
Britannia to set up largest plant in Maharashtra
Britannia will set up its largest plant in Maharashtra at Ranjangaon. The plant will manufacture biscuits and rusk. The company also proposes to set up a dairy plant at the site with a capacity of producing seven lac litres of milk per day. The company, in collaboration with a foreign partner Chipta of Greece, will also introduce a new variety of croissants for the Indian customers.
2 silver, 6 bronze medals for India at Asian Junior boxing
India finished the Asian Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Philippines today with two silver and six bronze medals. Satender Rawat and Mohit Khatana settled for silver medals after losing their final bouts in the Championships. Satender lost to Uzbekistan’s Almatov Shokrukh in the 80 plus kilogram category in a split verdict, while Mohit went down to Kazakhstan’s Togambay Sagyndyk in the 80-kilogram category.
Kerala High Court lifts BCCI’s life ban on Sreesanth
Kerala High Court today lifted the life ban imposed on cricketer S Sreesanth by the BCCI in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. In his order, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque also set aside all proceedings against Sreesanth initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The court had earlier sought the BCCI’s stand on the plea by the cricketer challenging the life ban imposed upon him by the game’s governing body following the scandal.