Marine fisheries census in three coastal districts in State from Feb 1, 2016
A month-long nation-wide marine fisheries census, covering the three coastal districts of the State, will begin on February 1, 2016. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), a research body under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR-CMFRI), conducts the census. Â The Union government conducts the marine fisheries census once in every five years. The last census was conducted in 2010. Such a census has been conducted seven times since independence. The enumeration will be conducted through detailed questionnaires and the census will be analyzed and prepared within a year.
According to the CMFRI, the census would be conducted in 360 marine fishing villages in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.
This census will be part of the survey carried out in many states including Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala on the west coast and West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu on the east coast.
Fisheries are an important sector in India-it provides employment to millions of people and contributes to food security of the country. With a coastline of over 8,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km, and with extensive freshwater resources, fisheries play a vital role. Presently, fisheries and aquaculture contribute 1.1 per cent to the national GDP, and 5.15 per cent to agriculture and allied activities.
Marine Fisheries contributes to food security and provides direct employment to over 1.5 mn fisher people besides others indirectly dependent on the sector.
The Indian coastline can be delineated into 22 zones, based on the ecosystem structure and functions. Â The census is carried out to study the system, procedures and constraints faced by the implementing agencies. And to analyze the motorization and HSD oil schemes and its impact on catch and income and the socio-economic status on account of introduction of the schemes.
The ultimate goal of the census is to give more recommendations for further development of
Fisheries sector by establishing processing plants and fishing inputs.
Source: The Hindu, Vikaspedia
India gets more voting rights in IMF reforms
In long-pending reforms that came into effect, emerging and developing economies gained more influence in the governance architecture of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Indiaâ€™s voting rights increase to 2.6 per cent from the current 2.3 per cent, and Chinaâ€™s, to six per cent from 3.8, as per the new division. Russia and Brazil are the other two countries that gain from the reforms. The reforms bring India and Brazil to the list of the top 10 members of the IMF, along with the U.S, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., China and Russia.
The IMF is governed by the Board of Governors comprising one Governor and one Alternate from each member country. For the first time, the Executive Board will consist entirely of elected executive directors, ending the category of appointed executive directors. Currently, the members with the five largest quotas appoint an executive director, a position that will cease to exist. Every Governor casts the number of votes allotted to their state as a unit and cannot split the vote.
When a country joins the IMF, it is assigned an initial quota in the same range as the quotas of existing members of broadly comparable economic size and characteristics. The IMF uses a quota formula to help assess a memberâ€™s relative position. Voting power in the IMF is based on a quota system.
Quotas are denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMFâ€™s unit of account. The largest member of the IMF is the United States, with a current quota (as of January 25, 2016) of SDR 42.1 billion (about $58 billion), and the smallest member is Tuvalu, with a current quota of SDR 1.8 million (about $2.5 million).
A member’s quota determines that countryâ€™s financial and organizational relationship with the IMF, including Subscriptions, Voting power and access to financing. The Special Drawing Right is the unit of account of the IMF and represents a claim to currency. It is based on a basket of key international currencies. The basic votes generate a slight bias in favour of small countries, but the additional votes determined by SDR outweigh this bias.
The IMF’s quota system was created to raise funds for loans. Each IMF member country is assigned a quota, or contribution, that reflects the country’s relative size in the global economy. Each member’s quota also determines its relative voting power. Thus, financial contributions from member governments are linked to voting power in the organisation.
Source: The Hindu, IMF, Wikipedia
WHO: Upto 4 million affected by Zika
Â Â Â The World Health Organisation has said the Zika virus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas. Â The global health body warned that it expected up to four million cases of the disease. The WHO Chief Margaret Chan called for an emergency meeting on the 1st of February on the outbreak of the virus. The virus has been blamed for the birth defect microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with an abnormally small head. In the Americas 23 countries and territories have reported cases. The concern is strong enough that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month warned pregnant women to reconsider visits to areas where Zika is present.
Since last spring, more than 20 countries have reported locally acquired cases of Zika, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and may cause birth defects.
The focus of concern is the growing number of cases of microcephaly, a rare condition in which infants are born with abnormally small heads and damaged brains. Reports of babies born with microcephaly have been rising sharply in Brazil as Zika spreads.
Zika virus was first detected in Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947 in a rhesus monkey, and again in 1948 in the mosquito Aedes africanus, which is the forest relative of Aedes aegypti. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus can both spread Zika. Sexual transmission between people has also been reported.
Zika has a lot in common with dengue and chikungunya, another emergent virus. All three originated from West and central Africa and Southeast Asia, but have recently expanded their range to include much of the tropics and subtropics globally. And they are all spread by the same species of mosquitoes. So far there is no treatment or vaccine available for Zika infection. This is a great cause of concern as this will severely impact the posterity of human population in the affected nations.
Source: The Hindu
India amends Double Taxation Avoidance Convention with Armenia
Â Â Â Government of India has signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention with the Government of Armenia. The Protocol will enable the two countries to exchange information related to financial and banking transactions under the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention, and thereby facilitate them in addressing tax evasion. It is also expected to further strengthen the efforts of Government of India in curbing generation of black money. The Protocol between the two countries is in existence since 9th September, 2004.
What is DTAA?
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) also referred as Tax Treaty is a bilateral economic agreement between two nations that aims to avoid or eliminate double taxation of the same income in two countries.
As of now, India has DTAA with 84 nations, including Armenia, Bangladesh, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Greece, Italy and several others. Further, India is constantly gearing to establish DTAA with other nations as such agreements work towards promoting trade and investments among contracted nations. The aim is to avoid double taxation of same income.
The treaties under DTAA benefit institutions and individuals, who earn in countries other than their country of residence, provided such an arrangement exists between their country of residence and the country/countries where their income sources are.
The benefits of DTAA are:
- Lower withholding tax (tax deducted at source or TDS)
- Exemption from tax, credits for taxes paid on the doubly-taxed income that can be enchased at a later date.
Broadly, under DTAA, the country where the income is generated has the right to tax it according to its laws. The country of residence gives credits for this tax and taxes the income at a lower rate.
As per the protocol between India and Armenia, there is an amendment in the Article on Exchange of Information for tax purposes to bring it in line with the updated provisions in the OECD Model.
Source: The Hindu, PIB