Thursday, August 15, 2013

Egypt further in turmoil & death toll mounts to 525

15 08 2013 Egypt further to get into turmoil with more violence on cards may rise to civil violence or disobedience across the nation as the Morsi pro protesters anger has surged.
Hundreds of Morsi supporters stormed a government building in Cairo and set it alight, reports state TV. This comes after Wednesday’s brutal crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood loyalists in which over 500 people died.
Death toll rises to 525 in Egypt crackdown, Health Ministry says.Media reports that supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi called Thursday for protest marches after a violent government crackdown triggered clashes across the country, leaving more than 500 Egyptians dead and the promise of a speedy transition to democracy in tatters.
The Egyptian Health Ministry said Thursday that at least 525 people were killed and more than 3,700 injured in Cairo and other cities and towns in Wednesday’s violence. The Interior Ministry said the dead included 43 members of police forces.

Israel, Palestinians to hold talks in West Bank

15 08 2013


Israel, Palestinians to hold next round of talks in West Bank

The next substantive round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will reportedly be held in the West Bank. The decision was one of the outcomes of the meeting between the two delegations in Jerusalem on Wednesday. The meeting, which came after a preliminary gathering in Washington two weeks ago, was cloaked in secrecy to prevent leaks to the media. The meeting was attended by chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the Prime Minister’s special envoy Yitzhak Molcho on the Israeli side, and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Fatah official Mohammed Shatyeh on the Palestinian side.

CM Modi Independence Day Address- A National Attention

CM Gujurat Modi speech at Lalan College in Gujarat, why attracts people? empirically  he heads the main opposition party’s as the BJP campaign chief, hence the party with more than hundred senates and ruling various Indian states automatically makes the first politician of BJP who acts in void  space as the shadow PM of this nation.
It does not matter whether he will succeed to the throne but his attempt to be the defacto voice of the nation talking in terms of common man with pursuits of the delivery to the last man and his taking on head on interactive session with the Dr Singh the PM makes the despair people awake from slumber with glittering eyes focusing on Narinder Modi.
With his growing popularity in race with that of JP could bring BJP, a party with more democratic functions loaded with abundance of cadre.The saffron Party leaders feel the suave appearing leader underneath has the skin of strong dictator  which may bring gag to media as is their in few BJP ruled states and will allow some intellectuals, professional, corporate  to  fall in the coterie.
Most of the Nations are in peril because of strong nexus of politicians with selective few to construct their own empire rather than working for the common man has hit this luring greed India too. India  which is undergoing the worst fiscal crisis and leaders keep the people posted about global fiscal mismanagement is due to global crisis and not for inherent local reasons and in past they were  rhetorically  announcing Indian economy insulated from International trade. India the Nation famous for its  parallel black economy and wealth abroad the issue taken up by various activist does not find any heed. But Modi did raises the Q.
Narinder Modi the personality from the ordinary family, grass root worker of BJP has challenged the UPA government in the centre and took various silver bullet points to demolish the UPA ‘s dream of their plan to build better India.
Modi initiated his speech igniting to the concern of the President about the lack strong governance, Modi briefed that UPA has not been able to govern in dignity hence the President spelled his concern.
He further said most of the developed states in India are non UPA ruled.thus in process has lost faith of the people of India. UPA policies are burdening the states government and the surge of corruption, red tapism dynasty politician, aberration in governance deflected from constitution to self  has made the nation sick and lost the people faith. People and the nation need to get rid of arrogant leaders and UPA work in isolation   fail to bring consensus and hence nation looks for change, Modi  stressed with flair of slogans and this time not copying the leaders from abroad.
Modi’s concern about the nation, the people, policies and attacking the Congress in public domain is new change in Indian politics and when the two political brands of were looking two sides of one coin, people in private with warms are asking question, will there be a change ?
Next Q  will Modi the PM in waiting will ever be PM? are question consigned to future with its attributes in robes of saffron cadres, leaders and their collective skill to win friends in governance community.

PM's address from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day 2013
Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, addressed the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort today on the occasion of Independence Day. Following is the English rendering of the Prime Minister’s address:
“My dear fellow-citizens,
Brothers, sisters and dear children,
I greet you all on this Independence Day.
Today is certainly a day of joy for us. But on this celebration of independence we also feel pain in our hearts that our brothers and sisters in Uttarakhand had to face devastation about two months back. Our deepest sympathies are with all the families that suffered loss of life or property. I want to assure the people of Uttarakhand today that the whole country stands with them in this moment of crisis. Our government is working with all the resources at its command to rehabilitate those whose houses have been destroyed and rebuild damaged infrastructure.
Our army, paramilitary forces and numerous officers and staff of the Central and State governments worked in difficult conditions in partnership with the common people to perform an outstanding task in providing relief to those who were stranded. We especially pay homage to the officers and men of the Air Force, ITBP and NDRF who sacrificed their lives to save others.
We are also deeply pained that we lost the submarine, INS Sindurakshak in an accident yesterday.  Eighteen brave sailors are feared to have lost their lives.  The accident is all the more painful because the Navy had recently achieved two major successes in the form of its first nuclear submarine, INS Arihant and the aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.
We pay homage to the brave hearts we have lost.  We also congratulate the Navy on its successes.
Brothers and Sisters,
We achieved independence in 1947 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.  If we look at our subsequent journey, we would find that our country has seen major changes every ten years.
In the decade beginning 1950, India took its first steps as a democratic republic under the leadership of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. We established institutions like the Atomic Energy Commission, Planning Commission and Election Commission, which went on to make a major contribution to the processes of nation building in later years. The first general elections were conducted and a beginning was made towards the formulation of the First Five Year Plan for socio-economic development of the country.
In the Sixties, Pandit Nehru set up new industries and factories, implemented new irrigation projects and opened new universities. By laying emphasis on the role of Science and Technology in nation building he started the work of transforming this ancient country into a modern nation.
In the Seventies, Indiraji boosted our confidence as a nation. During this period, we launched our first satellite in space. The Green Revolution enabled us to be self sufficient in food grains for the first time.
In the next decade, Rajiv Gandhi ji set into motion the process of technological and economic modernization. The foundation for the progress we later made in the area of Information Technology was laid during this period. The importance of Panchayati Raj Institutions was emphasized and this later resulted in amendments to our Constitutions for strengthening and empowering these institutions.
In the year 1991, under the leadership of Shri Narsimha Rao, we successfully negotiated a major economic crisis and embraced reforms for strengthening our economy. These reforms were opposed by many political parties at that time. But the reforms were in national interest and were therefore continued by all governments that came to power subsequently. Since then, the reform process has continually moved forward.
I believe that the last decade has also been a decade of major changes in the history of our nation. In no other decade has our economic development increased as much as in this decade. Democratic forces have been strengthened and many sections of our society have joined the mainstream of development for the first time. The common man has been given new rights which have led to his social and economic empowerment.
Brothers and Sisters,
The first UPA government came to power in May 2004. Ever since, we have worked with sincerity and honesty to build a progressive and modern India.
We have envisioned a prosperous India. An India which has got rid of centuries old burden of poverty, hunger and disease. Where the light of education has driven away the darkness of ignorance and superstition.
Where there is social equality and all citizens enjoy equal economic opportunity. Where no section of the society faces injustice and exploitation.
We have dreamt of an India where the youth get employment opportunities that enable them to contribute to the noble endeavour of nation building.
We have strived for India’s voice to be heard loud and clear at the international level. We have strived to build a nation that is looked at with respect and honour by the whole world.
We have taken many measures to realise these dreams.  But the journey is long and a large distance still remains to be travelled. 
Brothers and Sisters,
We have recently issued an Ordinance towards  a Food Security law.  The Food Security Bill is now before Parliament and we hope it will be passed shortly.  This law will benefit 75 percent of our rural population and half of our urban population. Under the law, about 81 crore Indians would be entitled to receive rice at 3 Rupees per kg, wheat at 2 Rupees per kg and coarse grains at 1 Rupee per kg. This is the largest effort of its kind in the whole world.
We have been able to implement this law only because of the hard work of our farmers. Our food-grain production reached a record level of 25.9 crore ton in 2011-12.
Without rapid agricultural growth, we cannot achieve our goal of making our villages prosperous. We have constantly endeavoured to increase production and to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices for their produce. In the last 9 years, support prices for various crops have been enhanced as never before. The support prices for wheat and paddy have been more than doubled. Many States which faced shortages of food-grains earlier are now producing more than what they require for themselves.
The average annual rate of agricultural growth in the 11th Plan was 3.6, which is more than both the 9th and 10th Plan levels.
We now see clear indications of enhanced economic prosperity in our rural areas. In the period 2004 to 2011, rural per-capita consumption has increased four times faster than earlier.
Rural wages have also increased much faster in this period. MNREGA provides employment to crores of people in rural areas.
Measuring poverty is a difficult task. There are diverse views about what constitutes poverty. But whatever definition we may adopt, it cannot be denied that the pace of reduction in poverty has increased after 2004.
Many States which had been considered backward for a long time, with some of them being called Bimaru, are now progressing rapidly.
We have enacted the Right to Education Act to provide every child in the country the opportunity for education. Almost all our children are today being imparted education in Primary schools.
The number of young men and women going to college has more than doubled in the last 9 years.
We have implemented new schemes for scholarships on a large scale to enable poor children and those belonging to the weaker sections to access opportunities for education. Today, the Central government provides scholarships to more than 2 crore children.
Many new institutions have been opened in the area of Higher education. For example, 8 new IITs, 7 New IIMs, 16 new Central universities and 10 new NITs.  New institutions have also been opened to boost scientific research. Steps have been taken to attract students to the study of science and encourage Indian scientists working abroad to return to India.
However, much still remains to be done for reforming our education system.  Many of our schools still lack drinking water facilities, toilets and other necessary infrastructure. There is a need to improve the quality of education. To achieve this, it is necessary to lay more emphasis on training of teachers.
About 11 crore children are being provided afternoon meals every day in schools under the Mid-day Meal Scheme. This programme is of immense benefit for both education and nutrition of children. However, it is necessary to improve its implementation. The tragedy that happened in Bihar some days back should not be repeated anywhere in the country.
We had launched the National Rural Health Mission in 2005. The Mission has started showing good results. Both Maternal Maternity and Infant Mortality rates have come down sharply. A much larger proportion of children is now born in hospitals. There has also been a large increase in the proportion of children being inoculated.
No case of polio has been detected in the country in the last two years. We have been able to eradicate a disease which used to cause disability to lakhs of people.
The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which provides free in-patient treatment in hospitals to our poor brothers and sisters, now covers about 3.5 crore families.
We have implemented the Health Mission in urban areas also. This will result in both expansion and improvement of health services in such areas.
For ensuring better safety and security for women, we have strengthened the law dealing with offences against women. 
There has been good progress in the last 9 years in the infrastructure sector also, covering areas such as Roads, Railways, Power, Civil Aviation, Ports and Telecommunications. About 2 lakh km of new roads have been constructed for connecting villages under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana.  More than 37,000 km of new Highways have been built, facilitating travel and trade. More than 40 airports have been built or upgraded.  In 2004, only 7 percent of the people had telephone connections. Today, 73 percent enjoy this facility. In rural areas, this figure has gone up from 2 to 40. There has been a record addition to our capacity for electricity generation.
Brothers and Sisters,
In the recent months, there has been much discussion on the fact that last year our growth rate came down to 5 percent. This is indeed true and we are trying our best to remedy the situation. However, it is not only our country that is facing economic difficulties. The last year has been difficult for the world economy as a whole. Major European nations are experiencing a slowdown these days. All over the world, there has been a slump in export markets. All developing countries have slowed down.
I believe that this phase of slow growth in India will not last long. In the last 9 years, our economy has grown at an annual average rate of 7.9 percent. This pace of development is the highest in any decade so far.
Brothers and Sisters,
Countries today are more integrated with each other than ever before. We have endeavoured that our foreign policy exploits this fully to India’s benefit. In the last 9 years, there has been a continuous improvement in our relations with the major powers of the world. Our Look East policy in respect of 10 ASEAN countries in East and South-East Asia has borne good results, especially in economic matters. We have also strived for friendship with our neighbouring countries. However, for relations with Pakistan to improve, it is essential that they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity.
There has been improvement in the area of national security also. Despite some worrisome communal incidents in 2012 and this year, the last 9 years have been good for communal harmony. There has been a reduction in terrorist and Naxal violence also. However, the area of national security calls for constant vigil. We have not been successful in preventing Naxal attacks that happen from time to time. The Naxal violence in Chhatisgarh on 25 May was a frontal attack on our democracy. Recently, there was a dastardly attack on our Jawans on the Line of Control with Pakistan. We will take all possible steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
Brothers and Sisters,
We have taken many important measures to make the work of the government responsive, transparent and honest. I would like to mention only two of them here.
Through the RTI Act, the common man now gets more information than ever before about the work of the government. This legislation is being used on a large scale at all levels. The Act frequently brings to light irregularities and corruption and opens the door for improvements. I am sure that the RTI will lead to further improvements in the way the government functions.
We have introduced the Lokpal Bill in Parliament. The Lok Sabha has passed the Bill and it is now before the Rajya Sabha. This legislation will be a major step towards making our political system clean.
Brothers and Sisters,
We have journeyed a large distance in the last decade. But much remains to be done. The process of change that we have initiated will be continued in the coming time.
As I have stated earlier also, rapid economic growth is an imperative for our country. Without it, we cannot possibly achieve targets such as removal of poverty, provision of good quality education and health services and creation of new employment opportunities. The average rate of economic growth that we have attained in the last 9 years shows what we are capable of. However, economic growth has slowed down at present and we are working hard to remedy the situation.
We have recently taken many steps to speed up the process of government clearances for industry, build an environment more conducive to trade and industry and increase investment in the economy. A special Cell has been set up to help big projects with clearances. The Cabinet Committee on Investment is working to remove hindrances in the way of stalled projects.
Inadequate supply of coal had become a major problem affecting our efforts for increasing electricity generation. This has been resolved to a large extent.
We will start work on a number of new infrastructure projects in the coming months. This includes 2 new ports, 8 new airports, new industrial corridors and Rail projects.
To boost Foreign Direct Investment, we have recently enhanced the limit of such investment in many sectors and made its easier procedurally.
In the coming months, we will see visible results of these efforts to increase investment. Our growth will accelerate, new employment opportunities will be generated and there will be improvements in the infrastructure sector.
Brothers and Sisters,
After the enactment of the Food Security legislation, its implementation will be one of our priorities. We have already started working in this direction in partnership with States. Computerization of the Public Distribution System will be speeded up.
The Mid-day Meal scheme will be reformed. The meals being provided to our children should not only be nutritious but also be cooked hygienically. We will take concrete measures to ensure this.
In the area of Skill Development, we could not initially achieve as much progress as we wanted. But now the pace has picked up. We have established the National Skill Development Authority a few months back. We will shortly launch a new scheme under which those who have successfully acquired new skills will be given a grant of about Rupees 10,000.  This scheme will benefit about 10 lakh young men and women in the next 12 months. 
The Multi Sectoral Development Programme for minorities has been reformed recently. We will now implement it effectively.
A scheme for offering Minimum Support Prices for minor forest produce has been approved some days back. This will enable our tribal brothers and sisters to get remunerative prices for the minor forest produce they collect. We will implement the scheme expeditiously.
A High Level Committee has been constituted to collect accurate information about the socio-economic, educational and health status of our tribal population. The report of the Committee will help us in designing better schemes for their benefit.
We can solve many of the problems that our country faces by deploying advanced technology. The Aadhaar scheme is a good example. Under the scheme, by the end of this year, about 50 crore people will acquire the means of proving their identity and this will bring them convenience in their daily lives. It will also enable crores of people to avail of banking facilities for the first time.
Brothers and Sisters,
There can be no place for narrow and sectarian ideologies in a modern, progressive and secular country. Such ideologies divide out society and weaken our democracy. We should prevent them from growing. We need to strengthen those traditions of our country which teach us to promote tolerance and respect for thought processes different from ours. I would appeal to all political parties, all sections of our society and the public at large to work in this direction.
Brothers and Sisters,
I had stated a few minutes back that every decade after independence has witnessed major changes in our country. We need to think today what changes we would like to see in the decade ahead.
If in the future we can achieve the same kind of progress as in the last decade, the day is not far off when India will be rid of poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance. Our India will be prosperous and all its citizens will be equal partners in this prosperity, irrespective of their religion, caste, region or language.
We will also need to build an environment of political stability, social cohesion and security for this to happen.
Let us all re-dedicate ourselves to building such an India together.
Dear children, please repeat with me thrice: Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind.
President’s Address to the Nation on the Eve of India’s 67th Independence Day
Following is the text of the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the Nation on the eve of the 67th Independence Day:

“Fellow citizens:

1. On the eve of the 66th anniversary of our Independence, I extend warm greetings to you and to all Indians around the world.

2. My thoughts turn first towards the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who shaped our liberation struggle and the martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the freedom of our country and great patriots whose relentless struggle liberated our motherland from the colonial rule of nearly two hundred years. Gandhiji sought freedom from both foreign rule as well as the indigenous social chains that had imprisoned our society for long. He launched every Indian on a path of self-belief and hope for a better future. Gandhiji promised Swaraj- self-rule based on tolerance and self-restraint. He promised freedom from want and deprivation. For nearly seven decades now we have been masters of our destiny. This is then the moment to ask: are we heading in the right direction? Gandhiji's vision cannot be turned into reality if we spurn the very values that were compulsory to his cause: sincerity of effort, honesty of purpose and sacrifice for the larger good.

3. Our founding fathers created the first oasis in the desert of a colonized world nourished by democracy. Democracy is much more than the right to vote every five years; its essence is the aspirations of the masses; its spirit must influence the responsibilities of the leaders and duties of the citizens every day. Democracy breathes through a vibrant Parliament, an independent judiciary, a responsible media, a vigilant civil society, and a bureaucracy committed to integrity and hard work. It survives through accountability, not profligacy. And yet we have allowed unbridled personal enrichment, self-indulgence, intolerance, discourtesy in behavior and disrespect for authority to erode our work culture. The biggest impact of the decay in the moral fiber of our society is on the hopes and aspirations of the young and the poor. Mahatma Gandhi had advised us to avoid, and I quote, “politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice”, (unquote). We have to pay heed to his advice as we work towards building a modern democracy. The ideals of patriotism, compassion, tolerance, self-restraint, honesty, discipline and respect for women have to be converted into a living force.

Fellow citizens:

4. Institutions are a mirror of national character. Today we see widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of institutions in our country. Our legislatures look more like combat arenas, rather than fora that legislate. Corruption has become a major challenge. The precious resources of the nation are being wasted through indolence and indifference. It is sapping the dynamism of our society. We need to correct this regression.

5. Our Constitution provides a delicate balance of power between various institutions of the State. This balance has to be maintained. We need a Parliament that debates, discusses and decides. We need a judiciary that gives justice without delays. We need leadership that is committed to the nation and those values that made us a great civilization. We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges before us. We need a media and citizens who, even as they claim their rights, are equally committed to their responsibilities.

Fellow citizens:

6. A re-ordering of the society can be brought about through the educational system. We cannot aspire to be a world class power without a single world class university. History records that we were the cynosure of the world once. Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri comprised the ancient university system that dominated the world for eighteen hundred years beginning Sixth Century BC. They were a magnet for the finest minds and scholars in the world. We must seek to regain that space. A university is the banyan tree whose roots lie in basic education, in a vast network of schools that build the intellectual prowess of our communities; we have to invest in every part of this knowledge tree, from seed, root and branch to the highest leaf.

Fellow Citizens:

7. There is a direct relationship between a successful democracy and a successful economy, for we are a people-driven nation. People serve their interests best when they participate in decision- making at the level of panchayat and other forms of local government. We have to rapidly empower the local bodies with functions, functionaries and finances to improve their performance. Faster growth has given us the resources, but larger outlays have not translated into better outcomes. Without inclusive governance, we cannot achieve inclusive growth.

8. For a developing country of more than 1.2 billion people, the debate between growth and redistribution is vital. While growth builds the scope for redistribution, redistribution sustains growth over time. Both are equally important. A disproportionate emphasis on any one, at the expense of the other, can have adverse consequences for the nation.

9. The last decade has seen India emerge as one of the fastest growing nations in the world. During this period, our economy grew annually at an average rate of 7.9 per cent. We are today self-sufficient in food grains production. We are the largest exporter of rice and second largest exporter of wheat in the world. The record production of 18.45 million tonne of pulses this year augurs well for our march towards self-sufficiency in pulses. This was unthinkable just a few years ago. This momentum has to be sustained. In a globalized world, with increasing economic complexities, we have to learn to cope better with adversities, both external and domestic.

Fellow citizens:

10. At the dawn of our Independence, we lit the glowing lamp of modernity and equitable economic growth. To keep this lamp aflame, our highest priority has to be the elimination of poverty. Though a declining trend in the poverty rate is clearly visible, our fight against this scourge is far from over. India has the talent, ability and the resources to overcome this challenge.

11. Reforms that have enabled us to come this far have to be pursued at all levels of governance. Favorable demographic changes over the next two decades can pay us handsome dividends. It requires industrial transformation and rapid creation of employment opportunities. It also requires an orderly urbanization process. Several initiatives taken by the Government in the recent past including the New Manufacturing Policy, the renewal of urban infrastructure and the ambitious skill training programme will need close monitoring in the coming years.

12. We have given our citizens entitlements backed by legal guarantees in terms of right to employment, education, food and information. We now have to ensure that these entitlements lead to real empowerment for the people. We need robust delivery mechanisms to make these legislations work. New benchmarks of efficient public service delivery and accountability have to be established. The Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme, launched earlier this year, will bring in greater transparency, enhance efficiency and eliminate wastage of precious resources.

Fellow citizens:

13. In our race for development, we must be careful not to disturb the balance between man and nature. The consequences of such imbalance can be disastrous. My heartfelt condolences to the many who lost their lives, and the innumerable who suffered in Uttarakhand; and my salutations to those brave personnel of our security and armed forces, government and NGOs who did so much to alleviate suffering. This tragedy owes as much to the avarice of human nature as to the rage of Mother Nature. This was nature’s wake-up call. And it is time to wake up.

Fellow citizens:

14. We have seen in the recent past grave challenges to our security, internal as well as external. The barbaric face of Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh led to a loss of many innocent lives. Despite India's consistent efforts to build friendly relations with neighbours, there have been tensions on the border and repeated violations of the Ceasefire on the Line of Control, leading to tragic loss of lives. Our commitment to peace is unfailing but even our patience has limits. All steps necessary to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken. I applaud the courage and heroism of our security and armed forces who maintain eternal vigilance and pay homage to those who have made the supreme sacrifice of the most precious gift of life in the service of the motherland.

15. There will be a general election in our country before I have the privilege of addressing you again on the eve of our next independence day. This great festival of democracy, is an opportunity for us to elect a stable government which will ensure security and economic development. Every election must become a crucial milestone in our nation’s journey towards greater social harmony, peace and prosperity.

16. Democracy has given us an opportunity to re-create another golden age. Let us not squander this extraordinary opportunity. The journey ahead calls for wisdom, courage and determination. We must work on across-the-board revival of our values and institutions. We must realize that rights go with responsibilities. We must re-discover the virtue of self-scrutiny and self-restraint.

17. Let me conclude by quoting from the great classic Bhagvad Gita where the Teacher propounds his views and then says, and I quote, “ÿatha icchasi tatha kuru” “even as you choose, so you do. I do not wish to impose my views on you. I have presented to you what I think is right. Now it is for your conscience, for your judgment, for your mind to decide what is right.” (unquote)

On your decisions rests the future of our democracy.

Jai Hind”

CBDT Invites Suggestions from Stakeholders on Safe Harbour Rules

In order to reduce the increasing number of transfer pricing audits and prolonged disputes, the Finance (No.2) Act, 2009 w.r.e.f 1.4.2009 inserted a new section 92CB to provide that determination of arm’s length price under section 92C or Section 92CA shall be subject to safe harbour rules. Vide this amendment, the Government of India had empowered the CBDT to make Safe Harbour rules. “Safe harbour” was defined to mean circumstances in which the income-tax authorities shall accept the transfer price declared by the assessee.
Thereafter, the issuance of the Safe Harbour Rules was examined and discussed at various points of time, but no finality could be reached. Since a number of representations were received from different stakeholders to prescribe the safe harbor rules, the Prime Minister on July, 30, 2012 approved the constitution of a Committee to Review Taxation of Development Centres and the IT sector consisting of Shri N. Rangachary, Chairman of the Committee and three others (hereinafter called the Rangachary Committee) with broad terms of reference as under:
1. Engage in consultations with stakeholders and related government departments to finalize the approach to Taxation of Development Centres and suggest any circulars that need to be issued.
2. Engage in sector-wise consultations and finalize the safe harbour provisions announced in Budget 2010, sector-by-sector. The Committee will also suggest any necessary circulars that may need to be issued.
3. Examine issues relating to taxation of IT sector and suggest any clarifications that may be required
Subsequently, the Government of India vide OM dated 12th September, 2012 approved the considered suggestion of the Rangachary Committee that it may finalize the Safe Harbour Rules in the following sector/ activities:
(i) IT Sector
(ii) ITES Sector
(iii) Contract R&D in the IT and Pharmaceutical Sector
(iv) Financial transactions-Outbound loans
(v) Financial Transactions-Corporate Guarantees
(vi) Auto Ancillaries-Original Equipment Manufacturers
The Rangachary Committee consulted various stakeholders including sector related government departments, NASSCOM, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, ICAI, etc. and submitted six reports on Taxation of Development Centres and IT Sector and other sectors as referred to in the OM dated 12th September, 2013.
On the basis of the recommendations of the Rangachary Committee in the first report on Taxation of Development Centres and IT Sector (which was posted on the website of the income tax department on 30th June, 2013),
CBDT has issued the following circulars:
• Circular No. 1/2013 dtd. 17th January, 2013 on issues relating to Export of Computer Software under sections 10A, 10AA and 10B of the Act.
• Circular No. 6/2013 dtd. 29th June, 2013 on Conditions Relevant to Identify Development Centres engaged in Contract R&D Services with Insignificant Risk.
The Government of India has considered the other five reports of the Rangachary Committee. The major recommendations of the Rangachary Committee have been accepted, with some modifications, and the following decisions have been taken by Government:
(1) Safe harbour for the sectors recommended by the Rangachary Committee shall be applicable for two assessment years beginning from 2013-14.
(2) Safe harbour for various sectors, subject to certain ceilings, shall be as under –
International Transaction

Provision of software development services other than contract R&D where the total value of international transaction does not exceed Rs 100 crore

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense incurred is 20 per cent or more.

Provision of information technology enabled services other than contract R&D where the total value of international transaction does not exceed Rs 100 crore

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense is 20 percent or more.

Provision of information technology enabled services being knowledge processes outsourcing services other than contract R&D where the total value of international transaction does not exceed Rs 100 crore

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense is 30 percent or more.

Advancing of intra-group loan to wholly owned subsidiary where the amount of loan does not exceed Rs 50 crore .

The Interest rate declared in relation to the international transaction, is equal to or
greater than the base rate of State Bank of
India (SBI) as on 30th June of the relevant
previous year plus 150 basis points.

Advancing of intra-group loans to wholly owned subsidiary where the amount of loan exceeds Rs. 50 crore.

The Interest rate declared in relation to the
international transaction is equal to or
greater than the base rate of SBI as on 30th
June of the relevant previous year plus 300
basis points.
Providing explicit corporate guarantee to wholly owned subsidiary where the amount
guaranteed does not exceed Rs. 100 crore.

The commission or fee declared in relation
to the international transaction is at the
rate of 2 per cent or more per annum on
the amount guaranteed.

Provision of specified contract research and development services wholly or partly relating to software development.

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense incurred is 30
per cent. or more.

Provision of contract research and development services wholly or partly relating to generic pharmaceutical drugs.

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense incurred is 29
per cent. or more.

Manufacture and export of core
auto components

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense is 12 percent or more.

Manufacture and export of noncore auto components.

The operating profit margin declared in
relation to operating expense is 8.5 percent or more.

(3) Safe harbour rules shall not be applicable in respect of an international transaction entered into with an associated enterprise located in any country or territory notified under section 94A of the Income-tax Act, 1961, or in a no tax or low tax country or territory.
(4) Safe harbour rules shall be applicable only where a taxpayer exercises his option to be governed by such rules in a specified form to be furnished before the due date of filing of return.
(5) Where the Transfer Pricing Officer is of the opinion that the option exercised by the assessee is valid, he shall intimate acceptance of transfer price declared by the assessee to the assessing officer and the assessee within a period of six months from the end of the month in which reference under section 92CA is received from the assessing officer. Where he is of the opinion that the option exercised is not valid, he shall proceed to determine the arm’s length price in respect of the international transactions entered into by the assessee in accordance with sections 92C and 92CA without having regard to the safe harbour margin or price as specified in the rules.
(6) A taxpayer opting for safe harbour rules shall not be allowed to invoke Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) provided under the relevant DTAAs.
(7) Where the safe harbour rules are not applicable in the case of an assessee, engaged in providing contract research and development services with insignificant risks, the Transactional Net Margin Method (TNMM) shall be considered as the most appropriate method for the determination of arm’s length price unless it is shown by the assessee that it is not feasible to apply this method in the facts and circumstances of the case.
The draft rules along with the Second to the Sixth report of the Rangachary Committee have been posted on the website of the Income-tax Department. All stakeholders are requested to provide their comments, if any, by 26th August, 2013 to the Director (FT&TR) at her email id
ARS 2013 to kick off in Delhi on Aug 17
New Delhi, August 14, 2013: The Airtel Rising Stars 2013 season, IndiaⳠlargest Under-16 soccer talent hunt, will kick off in Delhi on August 17, with 80 of the cityⳠleading soccer playing schools vying for the honour of lifting the Airtel Cup, the symbol of supremacy in the city. Besides Delhi, the Airtel Rising Stars talent hunt will be held in six other cities, namely Mumbai, Kolkata, Goa, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Guwahati and will involve around 450 schools in total.
The opening matches of the tournament will be played at the Ganga International School Ground and will feature G.I.S. versus Richmond Public School, followed by Venkateshwar, Rohini versus St. Margret.
The tournament will also be the platform to pick the best three players, who will go on to represent Delhi in the final selection trials to be held in Goa. The best goalkeeper from each city will also be picked and put through their paces, following which two will be shortlisted for the final selection trials, which will be held in Goa.
Besides players from the top soccer playing schools, individual players also stand a chance of being picked for the final selection trials. Those aspiring of the opportunity can upload videos of their soccer playing skills and the top 50 videos from each city will be shortlisted for a live audition. From these, the most talented player will get an opportunity to be a part of the final selection trials.
The 30 players in the final selection trials will train for five days under coaches of the Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) in Goa and will be tested on all parameters (including physical attributes, individual skills, match situations and their performances in actual matches) before 11 of the best players are chosen to travel to Manchester for a week and train alongside the Manchester United - Under 21 team.
The Airtel Rising Stars 2013 was flagged off in Delhi previous month in the presence of Manchester United football legend Gary Pallister and Mohit Beotra (Chief Brand Officer Bharti Airtel, India).

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