Nation
IAF inducts two Tejas fighters into 45 Squadron
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday inducted two Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) into its 'Flying Daggers' 45 Squadron here.
 
Southern Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in Chief Air Marshal Jasbir Walia received the certified documents of the indigenous fighters from state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Chairman T. Suvarna Raju at a function here.
 
IAF test pilot and commanding officer of 'Flying Daggers' Group Captain Madhav Rangachari flew one of the multi-role aircraft for about 10 minutes from the Aircraft System Testing Establishment of the air force under a cloudy sky and windy conditions.
 
The only of its kind fighter in the world, the 'Made in India' Tejas has been designed and developed by state-run Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and built by HAL at its Bengaluru complex in the city's eastern suburb,
 
Prior to its induction, the fourth generation-plus advanced fly-by-wire fighter has flown about 3,000 sorties for 2,000 hours till date without a single mishap.
 
Equipped with the latest satellite-aided inertial navigation system, the tandem twin-seater supersonic aircraft has a digital computer-based attack system and an autopilot.
 
The fighter is capable of carrying four tonnes of weapons and firing air-to-air missiles and precision-guided munitions like laser-guided bombs.
 
The LCA is also equipped with helmet-mounted display and has a distinctive 'glass cockpit' in which information is displayed real-time to the pilot.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Jaitley discusses sovereign wealth fund roadmap
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday discussed the operationalisation of India's first Rs 40,000 crore sovereign wealth fund, the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
 
"Second meeting of the governing council of the NIIF was held under the chairmanship of Arun Jaitley to review the status of actions taken for the operationalisation of the NIIF and to provide the road map for further activities," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
 
Jaitley also launched NIIF website here on Wednesday during the second governing council meet of the sovereign wealth fund.
 
The council discussed the long term investors, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, which are seeking to invest in the NIIF, the statement said.
 
The progress on the MoUs (memorandum of understanding) for investment in NIIF with several investors such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority from UAE, open joint-stock company Rusnano from Russia and Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar were also discussed, it said.
 
Financial Times, London has adjudged NIIF as the most innovative structure in Asia Pacific under finance category.
 
The guidelines for investment of the corpus of NIIF were also discussed at the meeting.
 
"The NIIF would have various sector-specific or investor-specific close ended funds and each fund may issue various classes of units. The government along with other investors would subscribe to the units of various funds," it said.
 
The units, investment strategy and accounts of each fund shall be distinct from and independent of the other funds, it added.
 
The shortlisting of projects for initial investment by the NIIF and the selection of its chief executive officer was also discussed at the meeting.
 
"A core team has been put in place to carry-out the activities of the NIIF," the statement said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Rajya Sabha elections raise hope of GST Bill passage: Report
Recent elections of the Rajya Sabha increase probability of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill being cleared by the upper house of the Parliament. If the Bill gets cleared in the Rajya Sabha, the roll out of GST could be by 1 April 2017, says Kotak Institutional Equities Research in a note. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday assuring support instructed state Finance Minister Amit Mishra and Chairman of the Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers on GST, to ensure passage of the Bill in the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament.
 
"A constitutional amendment bill requires the support of two-thirds of the members present and voting, which means the GST bill would need the support of 161 out of 241 members. If the opposition is able to garner 81 members, it can stall the legislation. The known opponents of the bill, Congress -58, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) -8, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) -4 and Communist Party of India (CPI) with single member are expected to have, between them, 71 members of Parliament (MPs). All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)’s 13 MPs will play a critical role. We do not count MPs that were nominated by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in this list. Parties such as Janata Dal -United (JD-U) with 10 MPs and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) with four are in alliance with the Congress in Bihar, although the government there is not dependent on continued support of INC. If all the regional parties were to side with the government, the (GST) Bill can pass in the Rajya Sabha. Even abstentions will work in favour of the opposition," says the research report.
 
 
In December 2015, a government panel headed by the chief economic adviser had recommended three broad rates for GST—17-18% as the standard rate for most goods and services, 12% for essential items and 40% for luxury items, and tobacco. Precious metals will be taxed at 2-6%. More importantly, the ‘reclassification’ of the current huge number of indirect taxes into one tax and rates into three rates broadly for most goods and services will result in simplification of India’s complex indirect tax system.
 
Kotak says, "A standard rate of 17%-18% (or lower) is possible only if various exemptions and low tax rates removed or reduced from the onset of GST and the tax base expands with time. Some of the bigger consumption items such as alcohol, electricity and petroleum products are being kept out of GST; precious metals will be taxed at 2-6% as per the panel. The panel’s computed revenue-neutral rate (RNR) of 15-15.5% highlights the large number of items that have nil or low indirect tax currently since the current indirect tax rate on most goods is over 20% (cumulative impact of central excise duty of 12.5% and state value added tax (VAT) of 12.5%; the bases for computation of excise duty and VAT are different though) and on services 15%."
 

"We note that the current tax rates (total indirect taxes) on most goods and services are quite different from the proposed standard rate of 17%-18%. This may create volatility in stocks and speculation about the actual rates until the rates are finalized. The final decision on the rates and the classification of items (by rates) will be taken later by the GST Council once the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill is cleared in the parliament and ratified by at least 50% of the states. The GST bill with specific details on rates and items will be enacted later by the parliament and all the state legislatures once there is consensus on the structure and specifics of GST. We expect GST to be implemented from 1 April 2017," the research note concluded.

 

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