Citizens' Issues
Tropical Cyclone Hudhud to make landfall on 12th October

Cyclone Hudhud is expected to hit India's Eastern coast by 12th October in the morning and may intensify into a “Very Severe” cyclone by the time it makes landfall

 

Cyclone Hudhud, which is developing in the Bay of Bengal is expected to make landfall on Sunday, 12th October. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reportedly spoken to Chief Ministers of the three states that are likely to bear the brunt of the cyclone. The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) has been put on high alert and is on the ready to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone.

 

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone may turn to 'very severe' over the coming 12 hours. On the cyclone severity scale 'very severe' refers to a cyclone with wind speeds approaching 120 kms/hour and above upto 220 kms/hour. As of now the cyclone is still being labelled a 'severe' level cyclone (image: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/hudhud.a2014282.0745.2km_0.jpg) which indicates wind speeds between 88 kms/hour to 117 kms/hour. The official release of the IMD said “The system would move west-northwestwards, intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. Thereafter, it would cross north Andhra Pradesh coast around Visakhapatnam by the forenoon of 12th October 2014.”

 

Last year's cyclone Phailin had taken 44 lives even with a laudable and massive evacuation and relief effort by the government. This year the government is working towards minimising casualties and have promised a zero casualty effort.

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Soon, SEBI matters may be heard before a special court

The Securities Laws Amendment Act, notified by the government in August facilitates setting up of a special SEBI court to fast-track suspected cases of fraud

 

A special court may be set up soon to fast-track prosecution and investigations initiated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against defaulters, after the regulator raised the issue with the government and judiciary.

 

A provision for setting up a designated court to hear SEBI cases, as also to give go-ahead to the regulator for carrying out search and seizure operations, has been made in a new law aimed at giving the market watchdog more teeth.

 

"We have taken (it) up with the government and the High Courts. My feeling is that they are working on it. We have already taken it up... Parliament has passed the law, government has notified the law, we have already written to the government. Wait for sometime," SEBI Chairman UK Sinha had said on Friday.

 

The Securities Laws Amendment Act, notified by the government in August, amends all legislations governing capital markets and also facilitates setting up of a special SEBI court to fast-track suspected cases of fraud.

 

The Act is part of the government and regulators' efforts to crack down on fraudsters in the wake of several cases of illicit money-pooling activities, including by ponzi operators, across the country.

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Bombay HC rules in favour of Vodafone in transfer pricing case

A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice MS Sanklecha held that as there was no taxable income arising out of the transaction so there should be no transfer pricing provisions applicable to it

 

The Bombay High Court on Friday ruled in favour of telecom major Vodafone in the transfer pricing dispute pertaining to sale of shares of its Indian unit to a Mauritius-based group company. The HC said that the telecom operator need not pay tax in a transfer pricing case.

 

The court said that there was no taxable income arising out of the transaction. A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice MS Sanklecha held that as there was no taxable income arising out of the transaction so there should be no transfer pricing provisions applicable to it.

 

The order went against the two-year-old tax demand from the Income Tax (I-T) authorities, who were hoping to collect as much as Rs3,200 crore in tax from Vodafone’s outsourcing unit in Pune. The amount included tax as well as interest for the IT demand for the year 2008-09.

 

Vodafone is locked in twin tax disputes with the government. One pertains to its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in Hutchison Essar, and the other is the transfer pricing case involving Vodafone India Services. This accounts to as much as Rs4,200 crore for the financial year 2010-11. It is also mired in a much larger tax controversy for the purchase of 67% stake in Hutchinson Essar in 2007. The claim for this is as large as Rs11,200 crore.

 

Vodafone is among 20 MNCs involved in transfer pricing disputes with Indian tax authorities. It is expected that the income tax department may appeal to the Supreme Court against the order.

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