- 62% of trees in rural Gujarat are scattered
- The rural tree count for 2017-18, which found 34.35 crore trees in non-forest areas of rural Gujarat, revealed that around 62% of trees in the state are found in strips or scattered. The count revealed that Central Gujarat and Saurashtra combined together had the 59% of the state’s tree cover. Of the 34.34 crore trees, Central Gujarat has 30% and Saurashtra has 29%.
- The average tree density in non-forest rural areas works out to be 22.38 trees per hectare. Of the 33 districts, 14 have a tree density lower than the state average. Officials said that the first tree estimation was taken up in 2001-02 and the average tree density was 14.1 trees/hectare.
- Of the state’s 34.35 crore trees, 10.40 crore are in Central Gujarat, 9.84 crore in Saurashtra and Kutch, 7.24 crore in South Gujarat and 6.87 crore in North Gujarat.
- The species with the highest number of trees was gando bawal (Prosopis juliflora) which accounted for 16.37% of the state’s 34.35 crore trees. Eucalyptus (nilgiri) accounted for 14.34%. Among the fruiting trees, the highest proportion was of mango trees, which make up 6.04% of the state’s trees. Neem trees make up 13.52% of the state’s trees.
- 15th Asia Media Summit to be hosted by India
- The 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018 is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, jointly with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), from 10th -12th May, 2018 in New Delh.
- Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Textiles, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani would be presiding as the Chief Guest over the Inaugural ceremony of the Summit on 10th May.
- The AMS 2018, an annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) Kuala Lumpur, is a prestigious summit in the Asia Pacific Region and India is hosting the event for the first time.
- The Summit, with the theme `Telling Our Stories – Asia and More’, would be organized in two parts Pre-summit workshop (8th-9th) and Summit (10th-12th).
- NSIC Inks MoU with MSME Ministry for FY 2018-19
- The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2018-19.
- The said MoU envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes, for MSMEs in the country.
- The corporation projects to increase its total business by 21.30 percent from Rs. 22,258 crore in the year 2017-18 to Rs. 27,000 crore in the year 2018-19.
· CBDT approves Amendment Of India-Kuwait Tax Agreement
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)notified the protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait.
The protocol updates the provisions in the DTAA for the exchange of information as per international standards, and also enables sharing of information received from Kuwait for tax purposes with other law enforcement agencies, subject to an authorization of the competent authority of Kuwait and vice versa.
· 65 per cent satisfied with policing in the country: Report
- Around 65 per cent of people find policing satisfactory in the country, according to a report which also stated that Delhi is one of the “worst” states as far as public satisfaction over police help is concerned.
- The ‘Status of Policing in India Report 2018’, that studies performance and perceptions concerning police in 22 states.
- The report says that in Haryana, highest (71 per cent) number of respondents had positive impression of the police in the state. Delhi, along with Kerala and Rajasthan, was among the “worst” states with people not expressing satisfaction with police help.
- As per the report, 85 per cent respondents did not report any contact with the police in last 4-5 years. The report based on five-year data (up to 2016) is categorised into six main themes- crime rate, disposal of cases, diversity of police force, infrastructure, prison data and disposal of cases of crimes against SC/ST, women and children.
· GST digital discounts may cost Rs 15,000 crore
- The government has estimated that the Centre and the states may have to forgo up to Rs 15,000 crore in offering discounts of up to Rs 100 on GST for every digital transaction, including those done using credit or debit cards or mobile wallets and mobile and net banking.
- The estimate is based on the average ticket size of the transaction being Rs 1,400 and a 2% relief being proposed on it. In case of transaction size of Rs 900 and assuming that 40% of the estimated 1,329 crore transactions were using digital payment tools, the revenue foregone would be of the order of Rs 9,500 crore a year.
- The plan is limited to business to consumer (B2C) transactions for goods and services that attract 3% or more levy.
- It is quite common across the country for retailers to demand cash payments, citing higher transaction costs for card payments, although reality is they under-report sales and pay lower taxes. The government has come up with a discount on GST as a solution to counter this widespread evasion. Sources said the government is upbeat on the model practised in Brazil, where consumers are given credits even for purchase of a pack of cigarettes using credit cards or other digital means.
- The credits are linked to consumers’ social security numbers, which can be used to speed up passport, driving licence issuance or other facilities. While officials reckon that this will be easier to implement in India, given the widespread issuance of Aadhaar, there is no move to have a similar policy in place, at least for now
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